ben-chavis

Benjamin F. Chavis, president of the National Newspapers Publishers Association

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) proudly asserts that “We are the authentic voice of Black America.”  As such today, there can be no more urgent clarion call to be articulated and promoted than the call for a massive historic and unprecedented Black American voter turnout onNov. 8 across the nation.

It is an undisputed fact that in 2008 a record number of Black Americans, 16,133,000, went to the polls and helped make Barack H. Obama the first Black American to be elected president of the United States.  Then in 2012, 17,813,000 Black Americans went to the polls, for the first time in American history in a larger percentage national voter turnout over the percentage voter turnout by White Americans.  Black Americans in 2012 turned out at 66.2 percent vs. 64.1 percent for White Americans.

The NNPA is launching Project Black Voter Turnout 2016: 20 million Black Voters to the Polls.  More than 211 NNPA member publishers of Black American-owned newspapers and media companies are being called upon to issue front-page news coverage and motivational editorials, together with banner ads on their respective websites, to promote effective Black American Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) campaigns.

The NNPA is nonpartisan and a nonprofit national trade association.  Yet, we have a responsibility to address all the issues that impact our communities.  As we conclude the first term of our Discover the Unexpected (DTU) NNPA Journalism Fellowship Program with Howard University supported by Chevrolet, we are pleased that young journalism scholars like our NNPA fellows are on the front lines of youth civic participation in many cities nationally.

Project Black Voter Turnout 2016: 20 million Black Voters to the Polls will engage print, digital and social media. #BlackPressMatters #BlackVotesMatter @NNPA_BlackPress @BlackPressUSA.com @NAACP

The United States of America once again is at a pivotal and crucial political crossroads.  The outcome of the Nov. 8th national elections will determine the future of the nation and of the world.

This is a propitious moment not only for 47 million Black Americans, but also this is the time for all Americans to decide whether or not American democracy will finally fully embrace the goals of freedom, justice, equality and empowerment for all people.

Your Vote Counts

Don’t let anybody attempt to suggest that your vote does not count.  Every vote counts if you vote.  For some strange reason, there are some national pundits who are once again predicting a low voter turnout by Black America.  These external pollsters and political observers really do not know BlackAmerica.

This is one of the reasons the NNPA and other Black-owned media companies are so strategically important.  The NNPA not only knows the facts about Black America, the NNPA reports and defends the interests of Black America without apology or compromise of principle and integrity.

For nearly 190 years the Black Press in America has been and continues to be the “trusted voice” ofBlack America. No political party should take the Black vote for granted.  Our votes have mattered and our votes will continue to matter.  We will make the critical difference in the outcome of the upcoming national elections.

We have both a sacred obligation and a historic responsibility to ensure that we will have the largestBlack American voter turnout in history.  Why? Because the overall quality of life of our families and communities are at stake.  Our energy, actions, and spirits must remain high and we have to fully engage the electoral process locally, regionally and nationally.

The NNPA’s Project Black Voter Turnout 2016: 20 million Black Voters to the Polls will work in coalition with other national organizations: The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, NAACP, Rainbow Push, National Action Network, National Urban League, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Black Lives Matter, National Baptist Convention, Progressive National Baptist Convention, AME, AME Zion, COGIC, UCC, and the National Council of Churches.

Our time is now.  Let’s all work together.  Let’s get out the vote!

Benjamin F. Chavis is president of the National Newspapers Publishers Association.

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