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 75 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 75 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 1941, 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%
  • Female 55%
  • Male 45%
  • African American 99%
Denise Rolark Barnes

Denise Rolark Barnes

Chairman of the Board

Newspaper publisher Denise Rolark-Barnes was born in Washington, D.C. Her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr., was the founder and the editor of The Washington Informer; her stepmother, Wilhelmina J. Rolark, a politician, and activist, served on the Council of the District of Columbia from 1976 to 1984. Rolark-Barnes was interested in writing at a young age and first wrote for The Washington Informer while she was in middle school. After graduating from Howard University in 1976 with her B.A. degree in communications, Rolark-Barnes enrolled in the Howard University School of Law where she became editor of The Barrister, the law schools’ student newspaper. Rolark-Barnes graduated from the Howard University School of Law with her J.D. degree in 1979.

In 1980, Rolark-Barnes joined the staff of The Washington Informer and was assigned as the newspaper’s managing editor. After working with her father, she took over as publisher of The Washington Informer in 1994. Rolark-Barnes also served as the director of The Washington Informer Charities and is the executive producer of “The Washington Informer News,” a bi-weekly television news program. In addition, she is the host of “Let’s Talk,” a public affairs program, and “Reporter’s Roundtable.” Rolark-Barnes has appeared as a guest reporter on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” “Tony Brown’s Journal,” NBC-4’s “Reporter’s Notebook,” and several local radio and television programs.

In March of 2008, Rolark-Barnes was honored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association with the Chrysler Financial/National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation Entrepreneurial Award, which recognizes the nation’s black-owned newspapers for their entrepreneurial accomplishments and commitments to community service. In 2011, she received the Jack and Lovell Olender Foundation Generous Heart Award and the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education (SHIRE) Community Champion Award.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.

President and CEO

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Chavis, Jr. is a member of one of the most prominent African American families in North Carolina. By age 13, Dr. Chavis had established his civil rights activist credentials when he successfully integrated the all-white libraries in Oxford, North Carolina. Chavis became the first African American to receive a library card.

In 1965, Chavis, an editor of his high school newspaper, wrote a regular column for the leading African-American newspaper in the state, the Carolinian, in Raleigh. After his high school graduation, Chavis entered Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh where he became a youth coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  While at St. Augustine’s College Chavis also served on the advance team for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1969, Chavis received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Shortly after his graduation, he was appointed as the Southern Regional Program director for the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. In 1972, Chavis and nine other activists were arrested and convicted of conspiracy and arson. They became known as the “Wilmington 10.”  Chavis’s eight-year incarceration received international attention.  He also wrote two books there: Psalms from Prison and An American Political Prisoner.  In December 2012, he received a full Pardon of Innocence for his previous conviction with the Wlimington 10, a story that was highly publicized in many sources nationwide.

After his release from prison, Chavis enrolled at Duke University and received a master’s of divinity degree.  He continued his study of religion and received a Ph.D. from Howard University.  In 1985, Chavis became the executive director of the United Church of Christ and CEO of UCC-CRJ.   In 1993, Chavis was selected to become the Executive Director and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).