Monday, April 20, 2009
Are the mayoral candidates snubbing the Black press?
by Ken Lumpkin
publisher Insider News
Between the years of 1916 and 1918 southern blacks began populating the urban centers of the north in a movement known as the "Great Migration." This movement was significant to the development of the black press, for it was during this period that the black press became a protest organ and rose to its greatest level of prominence and influence. It also counseled migrants on behavior, as well as false job hopes that existed in the North. The different stances of black newspapers concerning this migration reflect the diversity of a group of people striving for social and economic progress.
Today’s black press faces some of the same challenges. We continue to struggle to maintain our identity in both the black as well as the white community.
The area that the Black press is most over looked and damn right ignored is in the political community.
During the primary election I had said that the election of Racine’s next mayor would come through the African-American community, who represents 27% of the city population. At that time I felt assured that any two candidates emerging from the primary would jump at the opportunity to express their views and commitment to the local minority constituents. After all, both Robert Turner and John Dickert participated in a video segment on our website and outlined a few ideas on how they would address the concerns of the African American community.
However, I was wrong. It seems that both campaigns have taken a hands off approach to the minority media, or to make sure I am correct, to the Insider News.
We (the Insider News) feel that the minority community issues should be addressed as well as other segments of Racine. In fact we feel so strong about it, it has unfolded into a demand. One that we feel the candidates should not blatantly ignore.
This is an example of one of the main questions I feel both candidates should be answering, “How will stimulus funds be spent in Racine’s inner-city to improve the states highest unemployment rate among African American males?”
Undoubtedly, as publisher of the Insider News, I will be strongly criticized for being divisive. There will be those who feel I should keep my mouth shut. However, it is important that I take my 30 years of working with the black press serious at all times, and not when it’s convenient. Some would say no, but I feel there is still a need as well as an obligation for the type of advocacy we present indifferent to the main stream media.
Are both campaigns snubbing the black press? I can’t say. However, we have made an effort to reach out to them.