Filed Under:  OpEd

Vigilance on our 91st birthday

26th September 2016   ·   0 Comments

Ninety-one years was the span of time from Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown versus Topeka Board of Education case. Ninety-one years separated the first move of freeing the slaves to the first real societal victory in the fight for equality.

It takes time for the world to change, but it takes a voice of constancy and vigilance to make sure that freedom comes.

For 91 years, The Louisiana Weekly has been a voice of vigilance for the Black community of Louisiana, and for those locked out of the system. Our reporters covered stories that no other press outlet would touch, from the founding of the SCLC here in New Orleans half a century ago to the allegations against David Vitter just over a decade ago, to our lonely fight for local control of education in New Orleans most recently, and other uniquely presented stories too numerous to record in this space.

Since this newspaper’s founding in 1925 by C.C. Dejoie Sr., our editors and journalists have fought to present a truth often lacking in the mainstream media. Often we have stood alone, but always vigilant for the needs of the Louisiana African-American community.

To continue the message that the Black Press across America and The Weekly in Louisiana have carried requires a vigilance in return. Spread the word. Continue to support the Black Press. Don’t just read online; buy subscriptions, for yourself and for your loved ones — particularly for those under the age of 30 that might not remember how far we have come.

Advertise, support, expand, and defend. Keep the Black Press alive, for without us, one never knows all of what happens. Ten years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Louisiana had a Black governor, and it seemed that equality would come in the lifetimes of most African-Americans who were alive then. But there was no one to keep up the fight. No independent Black press voice to keep the pressure on, and inspire those who would fight. A decade later, a virtual slavery returned that would not really be lifted until the Voting Rights Act about nine decades later.

With the first Black President finishing out his second term, it’s easy to image the path of progress as ever upward. But the range of violence and the political climate give that hope little credence if there is not vigilance maintained. It could all fall apart.

Subscribe and support the Black Press, so there are still voices 91 years from now that can step in when the dark forces manifest.

And we here at The Louisiana Weekly hope that our future editors will be speaking to your great-grandchildren still in 2116, but only if you stand up for your descendants’ legacy now.

This article originally published in the September 26, 2016 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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