Why the NNPA and the Black Press? It happens here.

“We have shown the nation the struggle, sacrifice, progress and triumph of black Americans and of America as a nation from the black perspective,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA. “The Black Press covers the progress of black Americans and provides interpretation of the events involved in our progress. No other print or digital media serves in this role quite like the Black Press.”

The Black Press covers the progress of Black America

NNPA is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. Since its founding 77 years ago, NNPA has consistently been the voice of the black community and an incubator for news that makes history and impacts our country. As the largest and most influential Black-owned media resource in America, NNPA delivers news, information, and commentary to over 20 million people each week. Americans from all backgrounds seek news from the Black perspective from the NNPA member newspapers around the country. In America, now among the most diverse countries in the world, the Black Press of America is more relevant than ever.

Credo of the Black Press

The Black Press believes that America can best lead the world away from racial and national antagonisms when it accords to every person, regardless of race, color or creed, full human and legal rights. Hating no person, the Black Press strives to help every person in the firm belief that all are hurt as long as anyone is held back. Since World War II, it has also served as the industry’s news service, a position that it has held without peer or competitor since the Associated Negro Press dissolved by 1970. In 2000, the NNPA launched NNPA Media Services — a print and web advertising placement and press release distribution service.


Since its founding 77 years ago, the National Newspaper Publishers Association has consistently been the voice of the black community and an incubator for the news that makes history and impacts the country today and tomorrow.

From delivering news, information and commentary to being the largest and most influential Black-owned media resource in America to reach local markets with African American consumers. From helping to shape ideas and opinion to shaping thinking. From thought leadership to leading change.

Each week 20 million Americans from all backgrounds seeking news from the Black perspective turn to the 205 NNPA newspapers. In America, now among the most diverse countries in the world, the Black Press of America is more relevant than ever.

Digital and Social Capabilities

Creating the largest digital ad network of African American owned and operated sites

  • 175 sites. Over 1,500,000 unique visitors




Recognizing that today’s leaders need to access news and information in real time, NNPA has forged into the digital age with the creation of an electronic news service and BlackPressUSA.com; though printed newspapers remain the heart of the Black Press.

The NNPA is at once – historic and contemporary. Insightful and influential. A change agent and thought leader.

The Black Press is the Voice of the Black Community.


“Pleading the cause” through excellence in reporting, accountability, photography and content. Crossing generations, races, ethnicities and backgrounds, the NNPA offers what only its newspapers can deliver to 20 million readers every day: news from the black perspective.


In 1942, 22 leading black publishers founded the National Negro Publishers Association, renamed in 1956 to the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Today, the NNPA is comprised of 205 black newspapers. The Black Press gives voice to the unique perspective of African Americans on news, issues and opinions as they occur and as they impact the black community.

The BlackPressUSA Network

In 2001, the NNPA, in association with the NNPA Foundation, began building the BlackPressUSA Network— the nation’s premier network of local Black community news and information portals. The BlackPressUSA Network is anchored by BlackPressUSA.com— the national web portal for the Black Press of America.

  • Married 40% 40%
  • Female 55% 55%
  • Male 45% 45%
  • African American 99% 99%
Dorothy R. Leavell

Dorothy R. Leavell

Chairman of the Board

Dorothy R. Leavell continues to be at the helm of the Black Press of America. Since 1968, she has served as editor and publisher of the Crusader Newspaper Group—Chicago and Gary, Ind.—after the death of her first husband Balm L. Leavell Jr., co-founder of both publications in 1940 and 1961, respectively. Once at the helm of the company, Mrs. Leavell instituted modern changes to enhance the production and effectiveness of the newspapers. She also stabilized her holdings by purchasing and upgrading the buildings, which housed its editorial and production facilities. Since its inception, the Chicago Crusader and Gary Crusader have never missed a single issue.

On June 23, 2017, Mrs. Leavell was elected Chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a Black newspaper trade organization. She previously served as president of NNPA and the NNPA Foundation from June 1995 to 1999 simultaneously. The Association has a combined readership of more than 15,000,000 readers. During her tenure, she increased the visibility and international stature of the organization. Mrs. Leavell led a controversial 20-member delegation to Nigeria to investigate the Nigerian political crisis. As a media advocate, she also was a staunch and visible supporter for the controversial and delayed confirmation of Alexis Herman as U.S. Secretary of Labor. In 1997 she attended the swearing in ceremony on May 9th.

A member of the NNPA for more than 49 years, Mrs. Leavell has served in various other capacities including assistant secretary, a member of the board of directors, and as treasurer, a post she held for 11 years. She has been featured in articles and on television programs discussing such topics as women in business; the strength of the Black Press; cultural diversity and its impact on business; and several human and civil rights issues.

On June 23, 2017, Mrs. Leavell was elected Chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). She previously served concurrently as president of NNPA and the NNPA Foundation from 1995 until 1999. The same year the organization named her “Publisher of the Year.” As chairman of the NNPA Foundation from 2006 to 2011, she headed up a committee to pardon the Wilmington Ten, which was accomplished when the North Carolina governor pardoned them in December 2013.

A recipient of many awards, Mrs. Leavell had a day proclaimed in her name by former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in 2014 and she was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in August 2016.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.

President and CEO

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., entrepreneur, global business leader, educator, civil rights leader, NAACP Life Member, syndicated columnist and author is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). Dr. Chavis currently is also the Senior Strategic Advisor for the Diamond Empowerment Fund that he co-founded with Russell Simmons and leaders of the global jewelry and diamond industry in 2007. Dr. Chavis was elected in 2013 to the National Board of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO). Dr. Chavis is also the former President, CEO and Co-Founder with Russell Simmons of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), the world’s largest coalition of hip-hop artists and recording industry executives. Dr. Chavis’ award-winning syndicated column for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) reaches 20.2 million readers weekly throughout the United States, Africa and the Caribbean.

A native of Oxford, North Carolina, Dr. Chavis received the Bachelor of Arts, BA, in Chemistry from University of North Carolina; the Master of Divinity, M.Div., magna cum laude, from Duke University; and the Doctor of Ministry, D.Min, from Howard University. Dr. Chavis has also completed course requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D., in systematic theology, from Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Chavis is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. began his career in 1963, as a statewide youth coordinator in NC for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  In 1970, Chavis was appointed Southern Regional Program Director of the 1.7 million member United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice (UCC-CRJ) and by 1985 was named the Executive Director and CEO of the UCC-CRJ.  In 1988, Dr. Chavis was elected Vice President of the National Council of Churches of the USA.

In 1993 and 1994 Dr. Chavis served as the Executive Director and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and remains an active supporter of the NAACP. In 1995, Dr. Chavis was the National Director and organizer of the Million Man March. From 1995 to 1997 Chavis was the Executive Director and CEO of the National African American Leadership Summit (NAALS). The 2010 theatrical release of the full length movie “Blood Done Sign My Name” distributed by Paladin, directed by Jeb Stuart, starring Ricky Schroder, Nate Parker, and Lela Rochon depicts a true story from Dr. Chavis’ early days in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960’s and 1970’s in his hometown of Oxford, NC.

Dr Chavis has authored books and other publications including:

  • An American Political Prisoner Appeals for Human Rights
  • Psalms from Prison
  • Toxic Waste and Race in the United States of America: A National Report on the Racial and Socioeconomic Characteristics of Communities with Hazardous Waste Sites
  • Report of Fact Finding Mission of African American Church and Community Leaders to the Republic of Angola
  • Pastoral Letter on Contemporary Racism and the Role of the Church
  • The National Agenda: Public Policy Issues, Analyses, and Programmatic Plans of Action (2000-2008), and
  • FUSION: Bridging the Gap between Civil Rights and Hip-Hop with MC Lyte (2015)