Now, more than ever, especially in post-Obama America, we must passionately rally to preserve, protect and promote our own vital interests and to save our own institutions. It is absolutely essential that the African American people have the means and ability to tell our own stories on our own terms, to each other and to the world! The progress of our children and the integrity of our African American culture, values and traditions—our collective soul—mean everything!
Today, in New Jersey, there are but only two black-owned media companies functioning in the entire state! In northern NJ, The Positive Community (TPC) Corporation remains an exclusive and unduplicated media outlet. However, our company’s ongoing challenge means that we must compete with large, outsideowned, well-financed, media conglomerates who would claim to represent black consumers (and our children) in the marketplace for short-term financial gain through advertising and sponsorship.
Unwittingly, we African Americans have all but surrendered our cultural sovereignty to the enemies of progress! Others now speak for and on behalf of—our news, our music and our image. The major advertisers and corporations that derive enormous wealth from black consumer spending fund these big media companies with large multi-million dollar marketing and sponsorship budgets. The majority of these media firms are functioning contrary to the short or long-term interests of our people! And this is all justified by unfair, undemocratic practices or “rules” that reward advertising dollars to media companies that have the highest quantitative metrics or “numbers” irrespective of content or accountability.
The Dignity of Our Humanity
Collectively, we have been so duped into playing by other people’s rules; we take for granted or even ignore the value of our own inherent, qualitative relationships and cultural assets. Hence, in this year 2017, in the NY/NJ metropolitan area—the largest (#1) black consumer market in the USA; in NYC, the media and advertising capital of the world; the financial capitol of the world; the fashion and theater capitol of the world, we own not a single radio station, TV station, cable franchise, major newspaper, major internet site or large theater. The Positive Community is the only locally-produced, African American-owned lifestyle magazine serving this entire region!
After eighteen years, TPC continues to deliver a qualitative experience to our community of readers, our advertisers, and the161 churches in NY, NJ and Conn. that subscribe to TPC’s Great Roll call to Progress (see partial listing page 7). Our love for one another and love of God is, indeed, a qualitative experience that can never be measured by either scale or the latest technology. While we are very far from matching the resources and money of the entrenched “giants”, our publication does enjoy the respect and goodwill of the people. TPC has unique value: it never fails to affirm or reflect the dignity of our humanity—the truth, beauty and goodness of a loving and gifted race!
Saving Our Own Media
The Positive Community seeks the advocacy, the encouragement and support from our institutions, including every single, forward thinking man, woman and child of God! We need multiple voices from our community’s leadership, the people of God, to speak-up on our behalf. We simply cannot do this alone.
In addition to NYC’s Baptist Ministers’ Conference’s endorsement and commitment to advocate (see www.thepositivecommunity.com, May issue, page 16), we are also calling on other clergy leadership organizations and community institutions to join with us in this noble effort to save our own media; our own community; our children; our culture; our future—save our country, Now! And yes, we the people, descendants of the Great Emancipation of 1863; liberated sons and daughters of the Most High, will prevail, if we faint not!
The health, happiness and prosperity of future generations; the integrity of our culture and the progress of the race very much depends upon the quality of our thinking and the decisions we make today! At such a time as this, are we willing to engage in a conversation regarding the business about our future? Can we count on your support for a righteous cause?