Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Four Pillars of the NAACP

I thought the way the president-elect of the NAACP articulated the organization was particularly interesting.

He says the NAACP is a house with FOUR Pillars-- the Black Church, the Black Press, the Black businss community and the membership of the civil rights group itself.

Himself a black journalist who once headed the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Benjamin Jealous, presented this picture of the NAACP at last month's NNPA Merit Awards dinner in Louisville, KY.

It seems to me that if the Black press are, in fact, collectively acting as a pillar of the NAACP, then these mostly weekly newspapers, radio stations, and a handful of television stations and cable networks won't be going away any time soon.

Can we define "press" as multimedia in 2008? We should. But, I'm sure there are some who see the "black press" as exclusively newspapers, just as it has been in historical terms.

Increasingly, the online dialogue in places like, blackpressusa, is really an extension of the Black Press.

Many of these black-oriented newspapers have yet to step full force into the World Wide Web. Yet, they are not reach an audience that goes online to debate, dialogue and get up-to-speed on what's happening to others who look like them.

So, we have to define "black press" more broadly-- and if we link that to Mr. Jealous' definition of the NAACP, these outlets are by definition integrated into the civil rights movement of 2008.

As an NAACP member, a black journalist and a Christian very involved in a predominantly black church, I stand on three of the four pillars.

This latest news from Mr. Jealous certainly further explicates a point he made and I commented on in an earlier posting on the day after his appointment to the top job at the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.

We'll likely hear more from Mr. Jealous later this month as the NAACP starts its own convention in my old stomping ground, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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