EDITORIAL: Our Job is to Tell Your Stories

Readers of The Washington Informer sometimes tell us how proud they are of the work we do and how much they enjoy reading the newspaper. When they do, we celebrate, but more important, their words remind us that your stories — our stories — are important to us because your lives are vitally important to us, as well.

We take Black Lives Matter to heart, and history has shown us that if we don’t, no one will.

Just this week, while a significant population of the District — individuals who significantly contribute to our culture and our economy and have for years — gathered by the tens of thousands at the Washington Convention Center to celebrate new leadership in Ethiopia. For them, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed is “an angel from God,” who is bringing much needed peace and unity to their beloved homeland, and possibly to all of Africa. This is good news, locally and internationally, but it was barely worth a snippet on the front pages of most newspapers, except ours.

LeBron James, the renowned NBA superstar who makes headlines for the number of baskets he shoots and the teams he’s helped become champions, is our hero because of his allegiance to the at-risk youth he’s helping at home, in Akron, Ohio, where his heart is. This week he opened I Promise High School and his fans are extending an outpouring of pride and best wishes to “King James” who is “kinda” (as he often says) like an angel to us, too, for helping to make the improbable possible for so many students. Yet, he’s competing with headlines about legalizing computer-generated plastic guns and the investigation of a wealthy Trump insider who may live the remainder of his life behind bars. This is news, too, of course and not fake news … but not our news.

Finally, we suffered the loss of civil rights and political icon, former Rep. Ron Dellums who died earlier this week at 82 after an extended battle with prostate cancer — the death knell for far too many African-American men. His life story with images that illustrate each significant moment will be told over and over in Black-owned newspapers because of the innumerable contributions he made on behalf of Blacks around the world.

We know “our” news is important and understand what makes it so. We want to report on it and tell our stories for as long as something positive remains untold. Despite the challenges we face, we appreciate our readers who say we are doing our job and doing it well. Your encouragement and your continued support mean more than many of you will ever know.

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