By H. R. Harris,
Particular to the AFRO,
and Deborah Bailey

5 of essentially the most highly effective American girls in media, Cathy Hughes, Dorothy Butler Gilliam,  Denise Rolark Barnes, Michelle Richardson and Karyn A.Temple, have been honored on the AFRO-American Newspaper’s annual Excessive Tea occasion in Washington, D.C.

The Masonic Temple on U Road served as the right venue for the Excessive Tea on June 26. The Temple sits proper throughout from the previous house of the Washington Afro-American Newspaper, bringing again heat recollections for these gathered on a summer time, Sunday afternoon. 

“This second is historic,” stated Frances “Toni” Draper, CEO and writer of the AFRO-American Newspapers. 

The Excessive Tea was certainly a mix of favor and substance. Every of the 5 honorees represented a definite chapter in an trade by which Black girls stay sorely under-represented. 

In line with a 2022 report by the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Owned Broadcasters, there are solely 220 Black-owned radio stations within the U.S., out of greater than 15,000 whole stations. The share of Black reporters has decreased up to now 10 years from barely over 7 p.c in 2010 to five.35 p.c on the finish of the final decade. Draper talked about that there are barely greater than 200 Black owned newspapers, out of the hundreds of papers serving communities throughout the U.S. every day and weekly.  

Cathy Hughes, founder and chairman of City One, and Barnes, writer of the Washington Informer, echoed Draper in expressing the significance of possession.

Barnes acquired her award with gratitude for additionally coming from a media legacy household. She emphasised the necessity for Black possession.

“One in every of my favourite sayings is that ‘he who owns the media controls the message,’” she stated.  “It is vital for Black People to have media that they personal and management. The genuine voice of the Black group,” Barnes burdened.

Richardson, an Emmy Award profitable journalist at WJZ-TV (Ch.13) in Baltimore and Temple, vice-president and basic counsel of the Movement Image Affiliation, thanked the opposite honorees, who’ve clocked many years within the trade for blazing and actually creating the path that allowed their targets to be attainable. 

“I need to thank all the honorees who paved the way in which for me,” Temple stated. 

“I need to ensure that I can do half as a lot because the honorees have accomplished,” she continued. 

Gilliam, the primary African American feminine reporter on the Washington Publish, acknowledged that her buddies within the Black Press saved her grounded when co-workers and supervisors on the Publish couldn’t affirm her items. 

“Today you’ll name the therapy I acquired once I began on the Publish, ‘microaggressions,’” Gilliam stated of the insults, slights and delicate put downs that have been a part of her every day expertise when she began on the Washington Publish in 1961.

“I can’t say sufficient concerning the Black Press,” Gilliam continued. “After I actually wanted data, or encouragement, I might go throughout the road [from the Washington Post] to the D. C. workplace of Jet, and the workers there simply took me in.” 

Hughes acknowledged and thanked the AFRO in response to receiving her recognition.  “What an honor for 130 years,” stated Hughes. 

She then shortly pivoted to speak on to the viewers concerning the nation’s present political scenario, and known as for the removing of Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas. 

 “We’ve had sufficient,” she stated to the viewers who rose in applause. “We now have to carry management accountable.” 

The afternoon Excessive Tea occasion featured girls donning an assortment of colourful summer time fascinators and hats; fedoras, bowlers, straw hats, sequin bows, and hatinators. The viewers feasted on tea fare of finger sandwiches, contemporary fruit and petite deserts.

Hostess Renee Starlynn Allen, the “Peoples MC of the DMV“ saved the viewers engaged and entertained as did Cellist Benjamin Gates, who serenaded the viewers with quite a lot of authentic musical interpretations in the course of the afternoon. 

After the honors concluded and accolades given, every lady within the viewers had her personal likelihood to show their colourful pastel outfits. The Masonic Lodge Ballroom was full of laughter and music because the viewers lined up and cavorted by way of the Masonic Ballroom in an upbeat style parade.

As afternoon slipped into early night, the 5 Black girls who’re nonetheless making historical past to  this present day in American Media and journalism laughed and danced as properly. Cathy, Dorothy, Denise, Michelle, and Karyn have been Black girls in a room with different Black ladies and men the place they have been protected, absolutely understood and revered. 

5 Black media giants and trailblazers took a second from the daunting accountability of their roles, to breathe in, and simply benefit from the affirmation of friends and admirers on a summer time afternoon on U Road in Washington, D.C.

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