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Celebrities, Politicians and a Host of Dignitaries Help Celebrate the AFRO’s 130th Anniversary – BlackPressUSA

By Stacy M. Brown, Senior National Correspondent for NNPA Newswire

With its vision, legacy, culture and history, AFRO celebrated its 130th anniversary in style with a gala at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Comedian Tommy Davidson acted as the evening’s host while Temeka Moore and Absolute Music performed various hits.

The sold-out crowd capped off the evening with a dance party while celebrity DJ Kid Capri worked his magic at the turntables.

Karen Carter Richards, Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Claudette Perry, Executive Administrator of the NNPA, Jeffrey Boney, Associate Editor of the Houston Forward Times, Attorneys Billy Murphy and J. Wyndal Gordon, and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, were among the many dignitaries in attendance.

CBS Mornings host Gayle King, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, National Urban League President Marc Morial, Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson, Congressman Jim Clyburn (DS.C.), Maryland Democratic Congressman Kweisi Mfume and White House Correspondent April Ryan , were among those who sent videotaped greetings to AFRO.

dr Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., President and CEO of the NNPA, presented Dr. Toni Draper, Publisher and CEO of AFRO, the John B. Russwurm Award for Journalist Excellence and NNPA Publisher of the Year.

“Over the years, AFRO has been a leading voice in the Black community, serving as a trusted source of news and information, providing insight to generations of families in an ever-evolving society,” said Mayor Scott.

“In times when the mainstream media may have forgotten about the black community, AFRO has been – and remains – steadfast in ensuring that the community receives thorough and fair coverage,” affirmed Scott.

Mfume, who represents Maryland’s 7th Circuit, thanked AFRO for being “the eyes, ears and voice of our community.”

“We remain indebted to John H. Murphy, Sr., a formerly enslaved man, and his wife, Martha Howard Murphy, for founding the AFRO platform 130 years ago,” said Mfume.

“From its beginnings to today, AFRO has shaped our lives from the end of Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era, the Niagara Movement, World War I, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, World War II, the civil rights movement, the first black US President and Vice President, a global health and economic pandemic, and our way forward.”

dr Calling on AFRO board members, supporters and staff to stand up, Draper said that over the past 130 years, hundreds of dedicated men and women have worked tirelessly to achieve the vision of AFRO’s founder.

“Today, we still advocate for social and political change, still fight for equal opportunity and access for all — and are still the powerful voice for black Americans in Baltimore, Washington and beyond. I’m still recording the joys and sorrows of our community,” said Dr. draper

“In this age of social media and news-on-demand, we have surpassed great-grandfather’s wish for AFRO to eventually become a daily newspaper as we consistently post on AFRO.com, as well as on Instagram, Twitter and Meta, where we have done more than 650,000 followers,” continued Dr. Draper away.

“We even ventured into something called Tik Tok. And with the help of AFRO Charities, we’re working hard to preserve our rich archives so more people can learn about our rich history and heritage.

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