During times when Black newspapers more than ever are scrambling to bring in advertising dollars to keep their papers afloat, it is beyond me why a paper would decline to run an ad from a Black civil rights organization aimed at protecting the rights of same gender loving people.
Well that’s exactly what happened.
The National Black Justice Coalition planned to run a series of ads in the Baltimore Afro American Newspaper with the intent on shining light on how religious beliefs have been and continue to be used to justify discrimination. . The first in the series of four ads ran on May 5th. One ad became a major point of contention with three versions of the ad being rejected because of the “picture”.
The ad (pictured) did not feature any obscenities or material that most would deem as inappropriate for print, but Susan Warshaw, the Afro American’s Advertising Manager would only say that the Afro American editorial team made the decision to reject both versions of the ad because they believed some of their readers would be offended. She refused to give any other explanation or say why they had reached this conclusion.
After repeated attempts by NBJC to get the Afro American to expand on their conclusion, by Ms. Warshaw to say that the ad was not going to run and that she…neither her publisher John J. Oliver nor her editor the Reverend Dorothy Boulware would meet with NBJC—but the issue of the ad was off the table.
Clearly the Afro American doesn’t want to appear to support the rights of lesbians and gays and in doing so has turned down dollars from NBJC. This incident also sheds light on what many in journalism already know, and that is that a lot of the Black newspapers in our communities are run by and for the benefit of “good church going Black folk.”
While I am sure that all of the readers of the Afro American are not heterosexual, maybe they need to be reminded of exactly who their audience is.
BALTIMORE AFRO AMERICAN NEWSPAPER (www.afro.com)
2519 N. Charles Street
Baltimore MD 21218
1-877 -570-9297 fax
Washington, DC Office
1612 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Chairman of the Board/Publisher – John J. Oliver Jr.
Business Manager – John Leister
Advertising Manager, Baltimore / National Sales Manager – Susan Warshaw
Advertising Manager, Washingon, DC Kevin O’Connor
Dispatch Coordinator – Melody Payton