TAMPA – In commemoration with the 190th anniversary of the launch of the Black press, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists will acknowledge local Black news outlets at its annual Griot Drum Awards.
Attorney Jeraldine Williams, a Tampa native and one of the first Black students to graduate from the University of Florida and the first Black student in its journalism program, is the keynote speaker.
The event will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr., in Tampa.
The Griot Drum Awards acknowledges coverage of the Tampa Bay African American community by local journalists and grants scholarships to some of the area’s best and brightest journalism students.
This year’s event commemorates the 190th anniversary of the founding of the Black press. Locally, TBABJ will honor four Black newspapers: The Florida Courier, The Florida Sentinel Bulletin, The Weekly Challenger, and the St. Pete Bulletin.
The Black press remains as relevant and effective as it ever has since the 1827 publishing of Freedom’s Journal, the first Black-owned newspaper in the United States, said TBABJ president Rod Carter.
“For generations, the Black press has documented African-American community news and interests, including news throughout the African diaspora,” he said. “It’s our honor to acknowledge the dedication and determination that our local Black newspapers have made to ensure that our community’s voice is heard.”
Williams also holds degrees from Florida State University Law School and Clark-Atlanta University. As a journalist, her work includes writing for Ebony Magazine, the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), the Florida Sentinel Bulletin, and as owner and publisher of Tallahassee’s Capitol Outlook newspaper.
Williams has amassed a number of accolades throughout her career, including the Hearst National Award, UF Alumnus of Distinction, UF Centennial Alumnus recognition, and recognition as UF Integrator and as a Hearst Foundation honoree.
“We’re anticipating a delightful evening with Ms. Williams as she shares stories about her careers in journalism and law and close relationships with luminaries like the late South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela,” Carter said.
Tickets are $35 a person, $10 for students. To purchase, visit www.tbabj.com or call (813) 310-8134 for more information.
About Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists
Founded as the Suncoast Black Communicators, the group became the Tampa Bay area’s affiliate of the National Association of Black Journalists in 1990. The TBABJ now represents journalists of color in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Citrus, Hernando, Polk, Manatee and Pasco counties along the Suncoast of Florida. We strive to ensure diversity in area media and accurate, balanced coverage of communities of color while serving as a resource for both established and aspiring communicators of African descent.