1/5/2023, 6 p.m.
In closing out 2022, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) issued facts that which Black Americans and others may find interesting.
The NNPA is the trade association representing more than 230 African American-owned newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America.
Below are some of last year’s seminal moments that the NNPA’s Stacy Brown recently shared with Black Press audiences.
Thank you, Mr. Brown, for your diligence in compiling these valuable nuggets to carry with us in 2023.
• Reeling from the deaths of American icon Sidney Poitier, Civil Rights leader and legal scholar Lani Guinier, Helen Chavis Othow, and many others, the Black Press challenged Congress. Many urged lawmakers to eliminate the racist filibuster that suppressed needed laws such as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) responded, calling for a vote to change the filibuster on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The vote failed, but America heard the clarion call from the Black Press.
• When the Black Press noted President Joe Biden’s declining approval ratings among African Americans, the commander-in- chief responded on several fronts.
First, the Biden-Harris administration took a historical approach to advancing racial equity, including directing every agency across the federal government to address the lasting impacts of systemic racism on Black communities.
• Maya Angelou became the first Black woman on the U.S. quarter, and Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman appointed and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
• With the help of federal authorities, the killers of Ahmaud Arbery received life in prison.
• In December, the Jan. 6 Commission referred criminal charges to the Department of Justice, emphatically stating that the former president should face a judge and jury for inciting the insurrection.
• Having already spearheaded a lawsuit against prison officials in Mississippi over conditions there, hip-hop superstar Jay-Z and his team publicly demanded that authorities investigate racism and corruption in the Kansas City Police Department.
• In February, the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) began facing bomb threats, while Howard University’s Lacrosse team met racial slurs during a game in South Carolina.
• As critical race theory proved all the rage, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton called on Congress for $30 million to combat implicit bias in schools.
• In a year of Black achievement, Snoop Dogg purchased Death Row Records, the label that made him, Dr. Dre, and many others famous.
• The three officers involved in the murder of George Floyd finally received the justice many had sought, each pleading guilty for their role in killing the Black Minneapolis man.
• As Russia invaded Ukraine, the Black Press reminded the world why Black lives should matter in Ukraine. Russia responded to America’s assistance to Ukraine by taking WNBA star Brittney Griner hostage, charging her with possessing a small amount of cannabis oil. A Russian court found her guilty, and the bas- ketball player received a more than 9-year sentence. However, in a December prisoner swap, Griner finally returned home in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
• The P.G.A. Tour reiterated its commitment to the Black Press and continued offering scholarships and grants to HBCUs and other initiatives to people of color.
Meanwhile, an emotional Tiger Woods opened up for the first time.
During his induction into the Pro Golf Hall of Fame, Woods spoke candidly about the racism and discrimination he faced as a child.
• As African-American homeowners continued to face bias in real estate, Vice President Kamala Harris released a plan to stop appraisers from putting an unfair low value on the homes of Black people.
• Congress also passed the Crown Act, which ends discrimi- nation against natural Black hairstyles.
• In Entertainment, despite the controversial Will Smith slap of Chris Rock, Florida A&M graduate Will Packer led an all-Black production team for the 94th annual Academy Awards.
• Deion Sanders, who survived life-saving surgery that resulted in the amputation of his toes, led Jackson State University’s football team to another successful season.
Mr. Sanders then signed a multi-million-dollar contract to lead Colorado State in 2023.
• William Garth, Sr., a philanthropist, community leader, activist, political influencer, and freedom fighter, earned posthu- mous enshrinement into the Black Press Archives and Gallery of Distinguished Black Publishers at Howard University’s historic Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
• Karine Jean-Pierre became the first Black woman to hold the White House press secretary job, while colleague Erica Loewe continued to open doors for Black media at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
• White Supremacy again reared its racist head with the mas- sacre at Tops Supermarket in Buffalo.An 18-year-old white male, Payton Gendron, killed ten people and injured three others on Saturday, May 14, in a venue where Blacks make up the most significant percentage of shoppers and count as the majority of those who died.
• When the U.S. Supreme Court abolished Roe V. Wade, individuals like the Rev. William Barber held a “Moral March on Washington,” helping to push the Biden administration and local governments into action to protect women.
• In 2021, Rihanna, 34, achieved billionaire status. In 2022, Forbes acknowledged that the Barbadian beauty is now the youngest self-made billionaire in America.
• For the first time in its 246-year history, the Marines have a Black four-star general. In addition, lt. Gen. Michael Langley was confirmed to lead all U.S. military forces in Africa as chief of U.S. Africa Command.
• Democrats elected New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as the party’s leader, making him the first Black ever to head a major political party in Congress.
• Incumbent Raphael Warnock, who won a runoff in January 2021 against Republican Kelly Loeffler, defeated G.O.P. nominee Herschel Walker on Tuesday in a close contest that saw both candidates earn nearly 2 million votes.
• Harvard University has announced Claudine Gay as its new president. The dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sci- ences, Ms. Gay, becomes the first African-American to serve as the university’s leader and the second woman president in the institution’s illustrious history.