Style and substance share the stage at AFRO High Tea

Wilton Vinck

By H. R. Harris,
Particular to the AFRO,
and Deborah Bailey

5 of the most impressive American gals in media, Cathy Hughes, Dorothy Butler Gilliam,  Denise Rolark Barnes, Michelle Richardson and Karyn A.Temple, were honored at the AFRO-American Newspaper’s annual Significant Tea celebration in Washington, D.C.

The Masonic Temple on U Street served as the ideal location for the Large Tea on June 26. The Temple sits correct across from the previous home of the Washington Afro-American Newspaper, bringing back again warm memories for these gathered on a summer months, Sunday afternoon. 

“This minute is historic,” claimed Frances “Toni” Draper, CEO and publisher of the AFRO-American Newspapers. 

The High Tea was indeed a combination of type and material. Every single of the 5 honorees represented a distinctive chapter in an marketplace in which Black women stay sorely underneath-represented. 

In accordance to a 2022 report by the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Owned Broadcasters, there are only 220 Black-owned radio stations in the U.S., out of more than 15,000 full stations. The percentage of Black reporters has lessened in the previous 10 yrs from somewhat more than 7 % in 2010 to 5.35 percent at the conclude of the past 10 years. Draper mentioned that there are a little bit more than 200 Black owned newspapers, out of the thousands of papers serving communities across the U.S. daily and weekly.  

Cathy Hughes, founder and chairman of City A person, and Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer, echoed Draper in expressing the significance of possession.

Barnes acquired her award with gratitude for also coming from a media legacy household. She emphasised the need for Black ownership.

“One of my preferred sayings is that ‘he who owns the media controls the concept,’” she mentioned.  “It is essential for Black People to have media that they very own and command. The authentic voice of the Black local community,” Barnes stressed.

Richardson, an Emmy Award winning journalist at WJZ-Television (Ch.13) in Baltimore and Temple, vice-president and normal counsel of the Movement Image Association, thanked the other honorees, who have clocked many years in the business for blazing and practically generating the path that permitted their targets to be attainable. 

“I want to thank all of the honorees who paved the way for me,” Temple stated. 

“I want to make positive that I can do half as much as the honorees have completed,” she continued. 

Gilliam, the very first African American feminine reporter at the Washington Post, mentioned that her friends in the Black Press retained her grounded when co-staff and supervisors at the Write-up could not affirm her items. 

“These days you would get in touch with the therapy I acquired when I started at the Post, ‘microaggressions,’” Gilliam claimed of the insults, slights and subtle place downs that ended up section of her daily expertise when she began at the Washington Write-up in 1961.

“I can not say enough about the Black Press,” Gilliam continued. “When I really desired data, or encouragement, I would go across the road [from the Washington Post] to the D. C. office of Jet, and the staff there just took me in.” 

Hughes regarded and thanked the AFRO in reaction to obtaining her recognition.  “What an honor for 130 many years,” stated Hughes. 

She then immediately pivoted to talk directly to the audience about the nation’s present political situation, and referred to as for the removal of Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas. 

 “We’ve experienced more than enough,” she mentioned to the viewers who rose in applause. “We have to maintain management accountable.” 

The afternoon High Tea function featured ladies donning an assortment of colourful summertime fascinators and hats fedoras, bowlers, straw hats, sequin bows, and hatinators. The viewers feasted on tea fare of finger sandwiches, refreshing fruit and petite deserts.

Hostess Renee Starlynn Allen, the “Peoples MC of the DMV“ saved the viewers engaged and entertained as did Cellist Benjamin Gates, who serenaded the viewers with a wide range of primary musical interpretations during the afternoon. 

Following the honors concluded and accolades specified, each lady in the viewers had her personal probability to exhibit their colourful pastel outfits. The Masonic Lodge Ballroom was loaded with laughter and audio as the viewers lined up and cavorted through the Masonic Ballroom in an upbeat style parade.

As afternoon slipped into early evening, the five Black girls who are however making record to  this day in American Media and journalism laughed and danced as very well. Cathy, Dorothy, Denise, Michelle, and Karyn ended up Black women in a home with other Black gals and guys wherever they had been risk-free, totally understood and revered. 

5 Black media giants and trailblazers took a second from the daunting duty of their roles, to breathe in, and just delight in the affirmation of friends and admirers on a summer time afternoon on U Road in Washington, D.C.

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