With our recent focus on the life, death and legacy of community activist, Dudley Laws, we let slip by a very important (for us, anyway) milestone – the 33rd anniversary of Share Newspaper. There was so much else going on that we felt paying attention to our own achievements had to be placed on hold.
However, here we are. Thirty three years later. No other local publication serving our community has ever accomplished this milestone. And, while we have had a very active community in this city for more than six decades, the majority of us have come here in the last 40 or so years. Which means that Share has been a part of the life of this community for most of the time the majority of us have been here. (Actually, our publisher, who is a Ryerson-trained journalist, has been covering this community for more that 38 years.)
We talk to young adults all the time (people with young families of their own) who tell us that they have grown up with Share, that there was never a time when they didn’t know of Share. We have had individuals tell us that, as children, when they went shopping on the weekend with their mother, one of the things they had to bring home to dad was a copy of Share.
It’s very rewarding to know that the work you do means so much to so many people. And it is very humbling.
It also reminds us of the important responsibility we do have to produce a quality newspaper and one on which readers could rely for sound and factual reporting.
We are also very opinionated. But that comes with the responsibility. We can’t just see things happening that could negatively affect our community and don’t speak up.
Not everyone agrees with the positions we take but by now we believe that everyone understands that we firmly believe in our community; are very committed to it and that whatever we do or say is with the best of intentions for the betterment of our community and never based on any personal ambition.
Over the past few weeks a lot of you have been kind enough to comment on the tribute we paid to Dudley Laws; some of you even said that you were impressed.
But it would not come as a surprise to those who have followed us over the years and understood our position with regard to standing up and speaking out for our community and supporting those who did. It is a no-brainer to support people such as Dudley Laws.
We also continue to be complimented on our strong and unwavering support of the Africentric School. We have written about and supported parents, educators and education activists for a very long time as they fought to have the school board pay more attention to the education of our children.
We remember the cold, rainy nights standing outside the offices of the Board of Education on College Street (before it was moved to North York and renamed) as representatives of our community met with school officials inside.
So, we knew and understood where the call for an Africentric School was coming from and had no choice but to support it.
There are those who didn’t (and probably still don’t) agree with our position. And that is their right. But when you have the (White) mainstream media and affluent Blacks whose children don’t need help opposing a school designed to help young Black children, we feel that we have no choice but to tell them to mind their own damn business. (Interestingly, neither the mainstream media nor these affluent Black parents object to other kinds of alternative schools in the system, so we have no apologies to make for our position.)
As long as God gives us the health and strength, and as long as there are people in our community who understand and believe in what we do and continue to support us, we will continue to serve our community the best we can.