August 29, 2013
LAWT Contributing Writer
Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., is the Publisher of the Arizona Informant, a family owned and operated newspaper that provides an important voice for the African-American community in Arizona. This year it celebrates 42 years of publishing. Currently, he serves as Board Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA). As a Phoenix native, his personal commitment and knowledge of the community in which he grew up shows throughout his work. Most recently, he served in the State House of Representatives for District 16 from 2007-2010 fulfilling duties on the Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, and House Ethics committees. With an extensive background in marketing communications, media/public relations and advertising sales, Cloves lent his expertise as Vice-Chair of Arizona African-American Democratic Caucus. He is also a board member of the following organizations: The George Washington Carver Museum Board, Roosevelt Foundation for Our Children’s Future, The Black Theatre Troupe, Arizona African American Legislative Days Coalition, Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, Tanner Chapel A.M.E. Church Renaissance Committee and First Tee of Arizona. A lifetime member of the NAACP, Cloves was educated at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., and University of Virginia Darden School of Business Legislators Program. He and his wife of 22 years, Lanette, have three children: Daivon, Chanette, and Cloves III.
LAWT: Hi Cloves, thanks for the interview. Congratulations on being reelected Chairman of the NNPA!
Cloves Campbell: Thanks, Kam. It is truly an honor to be the Chairman of the premiere news organization in the world for black folks.
LAWT: How are things at the Informant?
CC: Things are going really well. We are celebrating 42 years of publishing.
LAWT: I really admired your dad and your uncle, and I think it’s great that you and Roland have not only built upon their vision, and that you run a photo of them in the paper every week. That touches me every time I see it, since they were such solid gentlemen and reminded me of my father who was from the same generation and also a WWII veteran.
CC: Thank you. I believe that it is important to remember the people that paved the way for you. They are definitely my role models. I think about them every day.
LAWT: How would you describe the primary mission of the Black Press?
CC: I believe that our mission is to deliver the news of and about the Black Community to our respective markets. The most important aspect our mission is that we deliver that news from the black perspective.
LAWT: What’s at the top of your agenda as you start your new term?
CC: My main focus will be, as it was two years ago, to continue to integrate the digital platform to our member papers’ portfolios. However, we still want to maintain our strong print presence, as well as to continue to reach out to younger readers.
LAWT: Do you consider mainstream papers as your competition?
CC: Not at all. Mainstream papers biggest competition is television. They are competing for the instant gratification customer. Black newspapers are a niche market and black consumers are now being targeted by major corporations for their dollars.
LAWT: Do you think the NNPA publications get their fair share of corporate advertising dollars?
CC: Definitely not! We have been making that argument for several decades. As a matter of fact, two years ago we partnered with the Nielsen Ratings Research Company to do a study of African-American consumers and it has been very useful in our advertising sales call and marketing efforts.
LAWT: What did you think of the Zimmerman verdict?
CC: Unfortunately, it was what I expected. Once we knew the makeup of the jury, the verdict was a forgone conclusion. Naturally, I am disappointed, but I honestly believe that this may be the wakeup call that this generation of black folks needs.
LAWT: Does Arizona have a “Stand Your Ground” law in effect right now?
CC: Yes we do. We are currently engaging with our legislature to review the law.
LAWT: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?
CC: Well, probably really wanting a pair of cowboy boots. It is likely the reason why I wear them now so much!
LAWT: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
CC: “Uneven Lies” by Pete McDaniel.
LAWT: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?
CC: “Jamaican Funk” by Tom Browne.
LAWT: What is your favorite dish to cook?
CC: Angel hair pasta with shrimp.
LAWT: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision?
CC: Getting into the newspaper business, of course!
LAWT: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
CC: I would be able to fly. You saw Big Willy in the film Hancock!
LAWT: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
CC: The ability to listen.
LAWT: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?
CC: Frederick Douglass.
LAWT: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
CC: Treat everyone the same way you would want to be treated.
LAWT: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?
CC: The Arizona Informant Foundation. [Chuckles] I'm a little biased.
LAWT: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?
CC: As a person who was always willing to help others.
LAWT: Thanks again for the time, Cloves, and best of luck with all your endeavors, brother.
CC: Thank you, Kam. I always look forward to reading your articles.
By Xavier Higgs
As the nation paid tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Southern California was able to commemorated iconic event in a unique way.
Using the Online Engagement Experience, PBS viewers were able to converse electronically while watching PBS. The 52-minute online event originated from the KOCE studio in Costa Mesa, CA. It gave online participants the opportunity to ask questions of a panel that included Bobby McDonald, President of the Black Chamber Orange County, Dr. Patricia Adelekan, retired educator, and Rev. Elmer Redding, Assistant Pastor Bryant Temple A.M.E. Church.
“We want to highlight the 50th Anniversary of the March, and remind people of that experience,” says McDonald.
He added that PBS SoCal wanted to use new technology to allow more people to be engaged.
Dr. Adelekan recalled meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who would often visit her hometown of Columbus, Ohio at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. She said it was during one of his visits in early 1963 he announced the plan for a March on Washington to bring to the attention a need for justice and equality for minorities in this country.
The scripted program seem to flow including the panel discussions, segments about the creation of the MLK Memorial on the Washington Memorial, as well as questions originating from a companion event at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.
Rev. Redding and Dr. Adelekan attended the March on Washington in 1963. Both remembered how dissatisfied most African Americans were with the state of affairs in America.
Ironically, at that time, neither of them was fully aware of the historical significance of the March.
Rev. Redding was 11 years old, and was taking to the March by his father who insisted they attend.
“We push our way as close to the Lincoln Memorial as we could, says Rev. Redding.” They arrive just in time to hear Mahalia Jackson singing and just before Dr. Martin Luther King speech.
By Kevin Liptak
CNN Wire Service
A jury’s decision in July to acquit George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin represented “questionable judgment,” former Secretary of State Colin Powell said in an interview aired Sunday.
But the retired four-star general, who was the first African-American to serve in the top U.S. diplomatic post, went on to suggest the case wouldn’t have a lasting impact on Americans’ lives.
“I don’t know if it will have staying power,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“These cases come along, and they blaze across the midnight sky and then after a period of time, they’re forgotten,” he said.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Martin in February 2012, was acquitted by a jury in July on state criminal charges. The case sparked a nationwide discussion of race. Martin was an unarmed black teenager, and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
After the verdict, President Barack Obama delivered a personal statement about the case, delving deeply into issues of race and justice, and connecting the difficulties facing American-American men to situations he himself had faced.
Powell said Sunday he’d like Obama to “be more passionate about race questions.”
“In my lifetime, over a long career in public life, you know, I’ve been refused access to restaurants where I couldn’t eat, even though I just came back from Vietnam. ‘We can’t give you a hamburger, come back some other time,’” Powell said, adding that while progress has been made toward racial equality, there is still work to be done.
“We’re not there yet,” he said. “And so we’ve got to keep working on it. And for the president to speak out on it is appropriate. I think all leaders, black and white, should speak out on this issue.”
By Gregory Dale
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
At the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, a host of dignitaries lined the stage situated at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Under clear blue skies, leaders discussed why they’re still marching a half century later.
Martin Luther King Jr. III took the stage roughly at 12:43 pm. In a tone that eerily mirrored his father’s, he discussed how America needs a new plan to provide jobs in the wake of a struggling economy.
He also called for the end of senseless violence around the country.
“My father [Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.] sought the blood of the community. No more Newtowns, no more Columbines and no more violence in Chicago,” he said. “We need to keep on walking, keep on talking and keep on educating.”
Shortly thereafter, National Action Network (NAN) leader Al Sharpton took the stage and opened by discussing the struggles Black participants in the ’63 march faced just to make it to the Nation’s Capital.
“Fifty years ago, some came to Washington and rode on the back of the bus. Some couldn’t stay in hotel rooms and had to sleep in cars,” he said.
He later urged generations young and old to come together and fight for injustices and social ills around the nation.
After Sharpton’s speech the crowd exploded in applause and cheers.
It was probably the most famous mass rally in U.S. history.
A defining moment in the American civil rights movement came in the midst of the long hot summer of 1963, the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” was a pivotal point for social change in America.
The March on Washington transformed the political climate of this nation. A crowd of more than 250,000 people gathered for the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital. The rally at the National Mall included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.
The march received extensive media attention, including live international television coverage. The mass protest helped strengthen the most critical social legislation in the nation’s history and was followed by the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
1963 was noted for racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations. A nationwide outrage was sparked by media coverage of police actions against protesters in Birmingham, Alabama and the Ku Klux Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Simeon Booker, first black staff reporter for the Washington Post, was a reporter for Ebony and Jet magazine during the march.
“It was a very inspiring experience,” says Booker.
In retrospect he said it was a terrific assignment.
“But it was a very unusual event and momentous occasion,’ said Booker.
In his book, “Shocking The Conscience, A Report’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement”, he remembers the fears that preceded the march was never realized.
Not everybody who attended the march was fully aware of its significance. It's been a 50 years since Elmer B. Redding, 62, who lived in Baltimore was taken by his father to Washington D.C.
At 11 years old, he had no idea about the march until his father insisted on attending.
“It’s a historical event” he needed to see. Redding recalls, “Where there was grass there were people. We push our way as close to the Lincoln Memorial as we could.”
He also remembered hearing Mahalia Jackson singing.
But as Martin Luther King, Jr. was introduced there was calm that settled over the crowd. “People gave direct attention to what was going on,” Says Redding. He did not understand what was going on.
Carol Redding, 65, Elmer’s wife grew up in D.C says she also “remembers how mesmerize everybody seem to be as Dr. King spoke.
Meanwhile the march highlighted unrealized goals.
Between 1955 and 1962, African Americans were determined through immense campaigns aimed at dismantling segregation, and the demand for federal civil rights legislation. These efforts were stalled due to political avoidance by the John F. Kennedy administration, southern segregationist influence, and northern apathy.
Dr. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, was 22 years old in 1963. Since the Littler Rock incident in 1957 the country was beginning to see the emergence of the new civil rights movement.
“It was my understanding that this fight for equality had taken on new life,” says Dr. Roberts.
At that time people were beginning to question the status quo and finding new ways of building opportunities for more people.
Although he didn’t understand at the time, he concludes, “racism isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the advantage taken by people for their own economic benefit.”
He adds that being in Little Rock or Los Angeles didn’t make any difference because the situation was virtually the same.“It was always the have’s, mainly white, and the have not’s, the people of color.”
As it turns out, the march became more of a show of solidarity and hope, and became the impetus of a long line of Americans taking social change to the streets.
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