On Friday, the Houston Forward Times, which proudly bills itself as the largest black-owned independently published newspaper in the Southwest, will mark its 55-year anniversary with a benefit concert event. All proceeds will go to the Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship and Youth Foundation.
That’s the late Lenora and Julius on the cover of this week’s issue (above). In the accompanying article, William L. Boney celebrates the couple’s founding spirit:
The vision that Julius had for the Forward Times was not only driven by the need for Blacks to have social and economic shared prosperity, but for Blacks to be informed and empowered.
Julius wanted the Forward Times to be a cutting-edge paper, providing the Black community with news that was relevant to them, as opposed to simply sharing generic national stories or promoting social and church events. Most of the issues and stories that were important to the Black community were either ignored or not picked up by the mainstream White press. This made the Forward Times even more relevant, because it became a primary source of getting information out to the Black community about stories and issues affecting them.
As Boney goes on to explain, when Julius died in 1971, many in Houston gave Lenora very little chance of being able to successfully carry on the newspaper’s operations. She proved them wrong, building it out further and overseeing it until her death in 2010. The paper is now run by the her daughter, Karen Carter Richards.
P.S. Someone at the Forward Times may want to add the paper to this Wikipedia list of African-American newspapers. Though listed elsewhere on the site, they’re not included.
[Image via: forwardtimesonline.com]