This Is BC Issue One Thousnd

On May 19, we will honor the 99th birthday of Malcolm X also known as El-Hajj Malik Shabazz. The legacy he left when he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet continues to inform and inspire us today. As BlackCommentator.com marks its 1000th issue, I reflect on the quote by Malcolm X on the power of the media. The reflection also illuminates why BlackCommentator.com (BC) and other similar outlets are critical in the search for truth, especially at a time when facts are twisted or totally erased if they do not serve the interests of racial capitalism.

Malcolm X once said that “the media’s the most powerful entity on earth…because they control the minds of the masses.” As information and truth are forced through the filters of deception, manipulation, and bias, it has become increasingly difficult to know if what we read is fake or real. The tricky hand of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made our world a less secure and predictable place. The tools we traditionally depended on to help us understand the chaos around us have become tainted or disgraced.

The role of the contemporary Black press is no different from that of our first Black newspaper, started by John B. Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish back in 1827. Freedom’s Journal made it clear that “we wish to plead our own cause” because for “too long have others spoken for us.” Black folks have looked to the Black press to highlight our struggles, to provide a forum for debate and to counter the misinformation and racist imagery permeated by white mainstream outlets.

The contributors to BlackCommentator may not all consider themselves journalists, but we all are indeed truthtellers, boldly and unwavering speaking truth to power. We believe our commentaries contribute to the organizing and shaping of our movements for social change. That means being intentional and responsible with our words and our analyses; we truly are trying to influence the minds of the Black masses.

What we once called white noise has now become an unbearable roar of psychotic sounds and dangerous ideas. I know people who do not watch the news anymore because it has lost its truth value. I know people who do not watch the news because it takes too much time and energy to dissect the facts. They stopped having to answer the proverbial question by the rightwing media: who do you believe - me or your lying eyes? These are the people who seek out a few trusted outlets - like BlackCommentator.com - for their news and analyses.

Conventional notions of journalism practices are harder to expect, given the race to authoritarianism. The racist attacks on Black history make it impossible to rewrite America’s authentic, comprehensive history. The debate to determine the definition of truth will intensify along with the waging of government propaganda and the domination of corporate news coverage.

In this void of truthtelling and the breakdown of democracy, publications like BC. who understand the power of the written word, must prevail or we leave our people “at the mercy of their adversaries.”

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board

member and Columnist, Jamala Rogers,

founder and Chair Emeritus of the

Organization for Black Struggle in St.

Louis. She is an organizer, trainer and

speaker. She is the author of The Best of

the Way I See It – A Chronicle of

Struggle. Other writings by Ms. Rogers

can be found on her blog

jamalarogers.com. Contact Ms. Rogers

and BC.