As we stated last week, this week marks our 31st year of publishing Share.
Who would have thought this was even possible back in April, 1978 when we took our first wobbly steps with a little 12-page newspaper that was put together in the publisher’s apartment?
But, here we are.
A lot has happened over those many years. Our community has grown significantly and we have been there right along to record our struggles, successes and, sometimes, our failures.
Many of you, our readers and supporters, have commented kindly to us over the years that Share has been an important part of your lives and that you didn’t know what our community would have done without it.
It is also very heart-warming to hear young adults tell us that they grew up with Share in their home. We have had some of you tell us that when you went out shopping with your parents on the weekends, one of the ‘must do’ things was to pick up a copy of Share.
So, yes, it has been a very wonderful and rewarding experience. There is nothing better than to be able to serve others. And, that was our intention from the beginning.
Share was established for the sole purpose of serving the Black and Caribbean community in Toronto with positive news coverage. It was painful to read almost daily in the mainstream press the negative coverage of our community so we decided that, in order to balance things, we would focus only on good news.
For the past 31 years, we have stuck to that commitment. We have been criticized at times by some who said we were not a real newspaper because we didn’t write about both the bad and the good, to which we were always quick to reply that if they wanted to read bad news about Black and Caribbean people there was always the mainstream newspapers to which they were most welcome.
After 31 years, we see no reason to change. Our community still faces some of the same kinds of unhelpful and discouraging coverage we sought to balance those many years ago. In recent years, there has been a bit more balance. The coverage of Caribana, for example, is now almost totally positive as it is almost totally monopolized by the mainstream media. There are also a lot more stories on major events such as the Harry Jerome Awards.
But, there is much that only gets covered by Share.
We are also proud of the positions we have taken on issues that affected our community over the years. The most memorable, of course, was the Showboat controversy over a decade ago and the strong support we received from so many in our efforts to draw attention to what many saw as the racist nature of this musical. We believe that those efforts paid off in a better production and one in which the Black actors were shown in a more positive light. We also showed that the community had a strong voice, one that refused to be silenced.
That was also true when we supported the Jamaican Canadian Association’s efforts to have its new building re-zoned so it could provide the services to our community for which it has been well known. There were those who wanted to keep Jamaicans out of the area in which they had purchased their building.
Over the past year, we had to join another fight, this one on behalf of the Africentric School which, finally, after some 30 years of community advocacy, was given the green light by the Toronto District School Board, but which was strongly opposed by so many, including (again) the mainstream media. Isn’t it sad that we still have to be fighting these battles?
We are proud to have been a much respected voice for our community over the years. With God’s help, we hope to continue for a long time to come.
And, now that we have our newly redesigned website, sharenews.com, up and running, we are excited about the possibilities.
So far, the response has been amazing. This website will strengthen us as a community as we go forward. We are now able to express our opinions and share our concerns to a much wider audience, exchanging ideas, debating issues and making our positions as a community known to the world. Make use of it.
Thanks for your valued support over the years and for your strong support of our advertisers without which they would not have stayed with us as long and as faithfully as they have.