Who speaks for black Chicago?

You read the headline on the Chicago Defender that says, “Don’t Count Us Out.”

Underneath that it says, “Defender remains a staunch advocate for the community.”

On page two, president Michael House refutes a Chicago Sun-Times story about his newspaper’s viability. His 106-year-old newspaper, he insists, is not about to vanish.

And you wonder.

What would happen if the Defender went under or were severely diminished beyond the painful cuts it has already suffered? But let’s take it a step further.

What would happen if not only the Defender but the Crusader and the Citizen and let’s include Ebony and Jet and a heap of other black news outlets here suffered crippling setbacks?

Would it matter to Chicago’s black community? How would it hurt the community? Would it lose its voice, its legacy, its grounding? Would it matter?

I ask you that and I know we’ll raise these questions at our Tuesday, Nov. 8th meeting at the Little Black Pearl at 1060 East 47th St., Chicago (Hyde Park). It’s a meeting of the black press and black community groups. We’ll meet from 6 to 8 pm

The hope is for both sides to hear how the story of Chicago’s black community is told and what may be missing from the dialogue between the community’s press and the community.

Is there a need for a platform to bring black bloggers together under one virtual tent? Is there a way to share content? Is there a way for youth groups entrenched in the latest media developments to share their voices in print and online and on the air?

Natalie Moore, the Southside bureau chief for WBEZ, will be the moderator.  Glenn Reedus of the Chicago Crusader, Richard Muhammad of the Final Call, Aminah Hanan of Blogging While Brown and Matt McGill of WVON and editor Rhonda Gillespie will be talking about how the media does its work.

If you’re a journalist who cares about this, here’s a chance to listen to a crucial discussion. If you have something you think the black community needs to hear, come and speak up.

The Chicago Headline Club with support from the Society for Professional Journalists is putting on this event.

Or very simply if you care about nurturing and respecting a community’s voice, you might want to be there too.




  • Evan Moore

    November 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I have a blog called Fanning the Flames since 1978. You should check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks

  • Marcie

    November 4, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Steve, you raise an interesting question. Now I’m wondering, “Would the black community care if these outlets were gone?” Would the community support the new media options available? And yes, who’s would speak for Black Chicago?