Every time I walk into a classroom I ask the students assembled what newspapers they read.  Inevitably they say that they read the New York post and the Daily News.  I then ask them why they read those papers and inevitably they say because of 1) the sports 2) the horoscope 3) the comic strips.

I then ask these same students what they see about themselves when they read these newspapers and overwhelmingly they say:

1) we see that we will be drug dealers

2) we see we will be teenage parents

3) we see we will be drop outs

4) we see ourselves being killed or killing

5) we see only the negative

When asked how this makes them feel they tell me that it makes them feel really bad about themselves and that it really hurts them and makes them feel like they will not amount to anything.

I then ask them why they read papers like that and they say, you know you are right, we should not read papers that do not portray us in a good light.

I simply give you this story to say that we need to support the organizations that support us.  Why do we give money to people that put us down, like the New York Post.

The images of our community continue to be bleak for the most part in the “Mainstream media.”  We are still portrayed as drug addicted high-school dropouts on welfare with children out of wedlock.

We are so much more.

In one school that I visited the teacher had started having her fifth grade students read the Amsterdam News every Thursday.  They would then discuss the articles and learn about things that were going on in their community.  When I came in and talked to that class a young woman said to me, ” before I started reading the Amsterdam I did not know that I could be a doctor or an astronaut or accountant, I thought I was just going to grow up to be what all those other papers thought of me.  Thank you.”

This young woman was able to see the other side of what she could be, not what the media portrayed her as.  That is why the Black press is so important, that is why we need to support the organizations that support us.  We need to support the advertisers that support us and we need to be clear in our messaging that we will not stand for the disrespect that we are getting from institutions like the New York Post and News Corp.

We are mad as hell and we are not gonna take it anymore.


Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. paulgrenada Says:

    Dara Richardson-Heron

    This is excellent Elinor! I really like it. Unfortunately, I, too, like the students, became a bit depressed after reading the blog which forced me to AGAIN realize the realities of the unfair world we live in, despite the fact that our President is a man of color. Nevertheless, your blog certainly adds an enlightened perspective. Kudos to you!

  2. paulgrenada Says:

    Heather Mulcahey

    I think it’s great! The post is absolutely out of line and you couldn’t pay me to read it.

  3. paulgrenada Says:

    Stanley, Paata

    Very good blog Elinor, you are so correct. The positive Black American experience needs to be told more. I love President Obama, but the media will make you believe he is the first (Intelligent) black man. We know this is far from the truth and many black men/women now and before never received the publicity necessary to make them mainstream. Instead of depending on the (Main Media) we need to do more for ourselves to promote (Our) business, politically, and technology leaders.

  4. paulgrenada Says:

    Alice Burns


    Good for you……..I couldn’t agree more — I was outraged.
    (Someone) actually bought the Post that day and both my Mother & I questioned him, why do you buy that paper, buy the Globe, the Times. We explained to him and now he understands — this article will help to further explain to him the depth of racism that exists in this country (and in those papers) — something that we as parents will have to raise our child with and build his foundation strong enough to go beyond and prayerfully be a part of the solution, i.e. change.

    Oh I could go on — but I have to get back to work!!!!

  5. Francisco J. Acosta Says:

    Nicely done, Elinor. We need intelligent, strong commentary like this. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: