Star-Studded Lineup Planned for First Black Press Virtual Convention

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancelation and rescheduling of many events. For the first time in the 80-year history of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and the 193 years of the Black Press of America, the pandemic has resulted in the first virtual conference.

“This year, we are excited to celebrate 80 years of this powerhouse of an organization, the National Newspaper Publishers Association,” NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards declared in a statement.

“We must continue to build upon our strong foundation by educating, equipping, and empowering our publishers while making them stronger as we march towards celebrating 100 years as an organization and more,” Richards encouraged.

“The world is getting to know the Black Press of America through digital capabilities. As part of this Virtual Convention, we will discuss different ways we, as Publishers, and as an organization, can solidify a brighter future for the Black Press.”

NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., added that the Black Press of America appreciates all of the support it received during these trying times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on African Americans and other people of color throughout the United States. Yet, coupled with that viral pandemic is the continuing epidemic of racism in America that is unabated with the fatal realities of racially motivated police killings of African Americans,” Chavis pronounced.

He noted that the convention’s theme is appropriately titled, “The Black Press – The vital Voice of Black America: TRUST, HOPE & RESILIENCE …. Overcoming COVID-19.”

“Our long struggle for freedom, justice, equality, and empowerment continues. Each generation has to rise to the occasion with ever-increasing determination to keep pressing forward even in the face of formidable challenges,” Chavis uttered.

He said the Black Press is thrilled with the line-up of the presentations and awardees at this year’s national convention, which occurs on Wednesday, July 8, and Thursday, July 9.

“This will be another historic step for the Black Press,” Chavis announced.

The schedule for this unprecedented Black Press convention includes a presentation by Wells Fargo about navigating finances during Covid-19; webinars titled, “Technology and Innovation: The Challenges and opportunities,” and “Black Millennial Voices and Visions for Transformation.”

The conference will include a specially recorded performance from legendary Supremes singer Mary Wilson and iconic Reggae artist Ziggy Marley.

It will also include live interviews with singers Stephanie Mills, Anthony Hamilton, Deniece Williams, Salt-N-Pepa, and the legendary Carlos Santana. Actor and entertainer Leon, and the Atlantic’s Jemele Hill also will sit for live interviews.

During the conference, Marley will receive the NNPA 2020 Global Icon Award, while Wilson will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congressional Black Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.) will receive the NNPA 2020 Outstanding Congressional Leadership Award, while Attorney Benjamin Crump will receive the Freedom Fighting Legal Achievement Award.

MC Lyte will receive the Lifetime Achievement Leadership Award, and entertainer Ice Cube gets the Artist of the Century Award.

NNPA partners and sponsors include General Motors, Pfizer Rare Disease, Wells Fargo, RAI Services Company, the National Football League, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook Journalism Project, AARP, Hyundai, Molson Coors, Volkswagen, The U.S. Census, Comcast and NBC Universal, Compassion & Choices, API, Ascension, UAW, and Nissan.

Registration is free, and those interested can sign up at

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top