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 79 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. 


Since its founding 79 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 African American-focused sites
  • Millions of daily page views
  • Millions of unique visitors each day



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.

  • College Educated (Includes 20% of readers with Grad School degrees) 64% 64%
  • Female 59% 59%
  • Male 41% 41%
Karen Carter Richards

Karen Carter Richards

Chairman of the Board

Karen Carter Richards serves as CEO and Publisher for theForward Times Publishing Company, Inc., a multimedia company that publishes weekly; the largest Black owned and independently published newspaper in the southern region.

Karen is the daughter of the late Julius P. Carter and Lenora Carter, original Founder/Publishers of the historic publication which has served the community since 1960.  Karen has continued the iconic legacy of her parents and after more than thirty years of working in the family business in various administrative and managerial positions, she has taken over the helm and transitioned the business into one of the leading multimedia companies in the country. As a second generation publisher, Karen has creatively expanded the mission of the Forward Timesand has continued her family’s publishing legacy to ensure that it remains the strongest information vehicle and most trusted voice for African Americans in the city of Houston and throughout the southern region, and has never missed a week of print.

Following the untimely death of her mother in 2010, Karen launched “The Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship & Youth Foundation” which supports students by granting scholarships and internships to those who aspire to a career in journalism and communications. The Foundation benefits low-to-moderate income high school seniors and college students who reside within the Greater Houston metropolitan area and are seeking to pursue a degree in Journalism, Broadcasting, Photography, Printing or Digital Communications. The Foundation has effectively partnered with local school districts and colleges/universities to offer internship opportunities to students which allow them to be exposed to various career options in the journalism and communications industry. The Foundation has provided over $35,000 in much needed scholarships to Houston area students and youth groups.

Because of her commitment and dedicated service, Karen has received numerous awards for her outstanding contributions, including the Texas Executive Women, “Women on the Move Award” Class of 2016, Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce Living Legend ICON Award, “Top 25 Women of Houston,” International Financial Leadership Summit Award, National Council of Negro Women’s Mary McLeod Bethune Impact Service Award and many more. She serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Southeast Management District and the Houston Texans YMCA.

Karen served as First Vice-Chair for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) from 2015-2019 and was elected as Chairman of the Board of the NNPA on June 28, 2019. She was also selected as NNPA Publisher of the Year in 2018.

Because of her leadership ability, Karen was selected to be a Fellow with the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Class XLVIII. Karen is also an inaugural member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) – Houston Chapter, a singularly unique organization comprised of more than 6,000 dynamic women leaders in thirty-three countries and seventy-four forums around the world. She recently served as the Chairperson of “Go Red Girlfriend” an African American Awareness Initiative for the American Heart Association. Karen served on the transition team for Mayor Sylvester Turner as a member of the Economic Opportunity Committee, which focused on increasing job opportunities and closing the income inequality gap in the City of Houston. Karen is a member of The Stepping into Strength (SIS) Mentoring Program which builds and develops young girls in the community to become resilient, fearless, educated and empowered.

Karen is the proud mother of three children: Jesse, Chelsea and Nykayla.

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)