Speaking truth to power
1/14/2021, 6 p.m.
“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.”
— Maya angelou
When the Richmond Free Press published its first edition on Jan. 16-18, 1992, hope was chosen.
Hope. Resolve. Opportunity.
As we reflect on the resolve of nearly 30 years ago, we remember those who stood with our founding editor and publisher, the late Raymond H. Boone, in investing in an idea undergirded with a reputation for hard-hitting and thoughtful newspaper leadership.
Did hope and fear attempt to reside side by side?
Yes, the attempt was certainly there.
There were those who tried to discourage with words and by withholding advertising.
Black readers were not valued — and for that matter, still are not commensurate with our buying power.
Yet, hope prevails. Resolve prevails. We prevail.
No one needs a reminder of the tsunami that was 2020. Looking through the rearview mirror, we weathered and
continue to stand despite the extreme challenges thrust not only on our Free Press family, but on our entire community, by COVID-19.
We surmounted the extremities of a torrential summer storm that damaged our photographers’ equipment while covering the removal of racist Confederate monuments.
Our team worked tirelessly inside and outside the newsroom while the uprisings triggered by the heinous murder of George Floyd and other widespread police brutality were in our streets.
At the same time, the Free Press continues to ensure that local politics is not a spectator sport but rather the essence of participatory democracy. We remain committed to an informed electorate.
Let’s stay informed, committed to holding elected of- ficials accountable.
We commit to continue to keep the faith and to be your reliable news source — and voice.
We continue to stand in this 29th year despite the pain and trauma that we continue to carry as Black people in America. We do not stand sheepishly. We stand knowing that where we started in 1992 is still needed. And we march on with fire and fury, telling the stories of our community, righting wrongs and speaking truth to power just as we have done since day one.
JEAN PATTERSON BOONE
Richmond Free Press