Good afternoon, everyone. First, let me say how pleased I am to be named Woman of Distinction by Business Life Magazine. Thank you to magazine publisher Greg Krikorian and the Business Life Magazine family, for awarding me such an esteemed honor.
I would also like to thank my husband and co-publisher, Joe Hopkins, my family, my staff, the Pasadena community, and friends for supporting me today.
Being selected as a Woman of Distinction is such a high honor. I pondered over this and in focusing on the word, distinguished, which means “a contrast between similar things, or …something usually praiseworthy, that sets someone apart from others.”
I asked myself, “What have I done to be deemed distinguished?” Humm … Then it popped into my head, “I have been publishing a distinguished product for over 30 years. - The Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal Newspaper.
I thank God. It has been a blessing to get to do what I do. As Managing Editor, I get to share news and information, most important to pass on to our readers.
You may ask, “Why do we need a Black newspaper?”
The Black Press was founded in response to the distortions and ugly untruths that white newspapers often published about African Americans. Black journalists have been described as “Soldiers Without Swords.” For nearly two centuries, they have fought for the rights of not only Black Americans but for people of African descent throughout the world, ultimately showing how Black print news media are advocates for justice.
When Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm launched the first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal in 1827, they made clear the mission of the Black press…….: “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentation in things which concern us dearly.”
We publish our truth from our own understanding, which often is distinguished from the white press’ understanding.
Cornish and Russwurm understood that the only way to respond to the power of the early nineteenth-century white press and its regular false and negative depictions of African Americans was to develop Black news outlets that would counteract and offer an alternative to these images. Remember Barak and Michelle on the cover of Atlantic Magazine?
In today’s negative culture, there is excellent value in positive associations with different cultures. Doing so will gain friendly neighbors, a greater understanding of each other, more peace and harmony, and help in times of trouble.
For our family of entrepreneurs, back in 1989, we were looking for a Black newspaper to advertise our family business, a law office, a barber shop, and a silk screen business. There was none. So, we started one. The Journal was created in 1989.
It is the mission of the Journal to associate with our community in the events we have supported and sponsored, such as a parking lot business marketplaces so Black businesses can show their wares. We sponsored the Pasadena Black Expo (Pasadena Convention Ctr). Hosted a Gospel Jazz Concert featuring Doc Powell, Kurt Wahlen, & Ron Brown at the Pasadena Civic Center. We held The Women of Achievement Breakfasts for ten years at Rose Bowl Country Club, and we have welcomed student interns from the PUSD Business Academy over the years.
I Invite You to Distinguish Yourself. Start By reading our paper.
Our Legacy: We are beginning to pass the torch on to our children and grandchildren.