At the 2021 NNPA (National Newspapers Publishers Association) Fund’s Messenger Awards, legacy and digital media from the Word In Black collaborative led the way with multiple awards. The St. Louis American garnered the John Russwurm Pinnacle Award as the best of the best in the Black press, while also snagging six other awards.

“Our first obligation is to our communities,” said Dr. Donald Suggs, publisher of the St. Louis American. “It’s satisfying to be honored by our peers and this past year has proven how essential the Black press continues to be as vehicles in making sure our communities are informed about issues that matter.”

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The Seattle Medium won three awards, including the first place Award in the Best Original Advertising Category. “The Black Press in America has always been resilient. We’ve always had to do more with less, but we have never let that affect the quality of our news reporting or product,” said Medium publisher Chris Bennett. “This year’s NNPA Messenger awards showcased the innovation, creativity and sustainability of Black newspapers across the country. During a time when our communities needed access to relevant and timely information the Black Press delivered.”

James Washington, President & General Manager of The Atlanta Voice, which was awarded first place in the Original Photography Use category, linked the importance of the Black Press to the ongoing struggle of upholding and protecting democracy. “If there was ever a time to double our efforts with regard to covering our community, it’s now when democracy itself is at stake. Recognition on this scale just reinforces the on-going importance of our role as advocates and conveyors of local journalism. These awards simply remind us that we are never alone and our voices indeed do have significant reach.”

Additional winners from the Word In Black collaborative included the Afro American Newspapers (Baltimore), the Michigan Chronicle and the Houston Defender. A full list of winners is here. Congratulations to all and continued success!