U.K.’s Positive.News Publishes Good Black News Feature – “Black News Matters: the Website Dedicated to Positive News about People of Color”

Good Black News Founder and Editor-in-Chief Lori Lakin Hutcherson (photo: Atsushi Nishijima)

interview by Lucy Purdy via positive.news

Lori Lakin Hutcherson was shocked when she was unable to find a website dedicated to positive news about black people. So she started one 

Why did you start the Facebook page that became the website, Good Black News?

I actually started Good Black News by accident. It was 2010 and, in my work as a film and television writer and producer, I was collaborating with author Terry McMillan on the film adaptation of her new book. Before our writing session started one morning, she was telling me about a story she’d barely come across in the news: at an all-black academy in Chicago, 100 per cent of the seniors were accepted to college. Terry was wondering why there was no major news media coverage of this great achievement, and lamenting that the mainstream media primarily focused on negative news about African Americans. I figured that there must be a site dedicated solely to positive African American news, so searched the internet. To my shock, I couldn’t find one. In that moment I decided I had to create it, even if just a page on Facebook. So I did. And it slowly grew from there.

How do you think the mainstream media is biased towards people of colour? What damage can stereotypes do?

The media bias reflects the bias intrinsic in US culture and society. People of colour are often seen as threats or exceptions, but not commonly enough as typical human beings. More often than not, you’ll see adjectives or nouns that refer to someone’s ethnicity or skin colour rather than their name or age, or you will see images that are dour or intense instead of happy or light. The damage these micro-dehumanisations can do is reinforce prejudices about people of colour, as well as teach and perpetuate them. So every time I put up a positive story, I am conscious that I am combatting all of that, as well as offering a bit of uplift for anyone who comes across it.

What steps do you take with your stories; for example with headlines and photos, to make them more representative and balanced?

First of all, I make sure that they are accurate and informative, and properly credited and sourced. Secondly, I like to find the best image possible to represent the person or the subject of the story; if all anyone sees is the photo or the headline, I want to make sure either or both offer a story, as well as positive impact. Lastly, I like to put names in headlines. A person’s name offers individuality and acknowledgement that I think impresses on readers a level of humanity that descriptors just don’t. It may seem subtle, but to me, it’s not. Imagine, for example, the differing impact of The Autobiography of a Black Muslim v The Autobiography of Malcolm X or The Diary of a Jewish Girl v The Diary of Anne Frank.

What reactions have you had to Good Black News? Have any surprised you?

The majority have been positive, which isn’t surprising as much as it is heartwarming. It’s humbling knowing that what myself, my fellow editor Lesa Lakin and our volunteer contributors do is helping so many people access information and stories they might not otherwise have heard of. What has surprised me – even though, thankfully, it’s not a large number – is that there are people who spend their time trying to troll and mock and denigrate a site dedicated to sharing positive stories about people of colour. Each time I come across a wayward comment, reply or tweet and block it, I think ‘Who has time for this kind of vitriol in their life?

People of colour are often seen as threats or exceptions, but not commonly enough as typical human beings

Which sorts of stories are most popular?

Education stories. Whether it’s a boy or girl genius graduating college at 14, or a formerly homeless teen going to the Ivy League, or senior citizens finally getting their high school or college diplomas, education stories are always popular. Education has been the most accessible and democratic way people of colour have been able to improve their lives in the US. To go from it being a crime to learn to read and write, to earning PhDs and running universities – yeah, those stories always resonate.

To read rest of article, go to: Black news matters: the website dedicated to positive news about people of colour

Seven Years Ago Today: Good Black News Was Founded

(Image by Maeve Richardson)


GOOD BLACK NEWS
 proudly celebrates its seventh anniversary today, with our followers across FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestInstagramGoogle+YouTubeWordPress, our RSS feed, and LinkedIn. Although initially launched on March 18, 2010 as a Facebook page (read the detailed story behind GBN’s creation here), in September 2012, GBN created this dedicated website, goodblacknews.org, which has allowed us to expand our presence on the internet and provide archives and search functions to you, our loyal readers.

In the past year, we were greatly honored to not only have our Editorial “What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege” republished on The Huffington Post, On Being (we made their “Best of 2016” list), Everyday Feminism, and Quartz, but also to see so much thoughtful dialogue spark around the topic.

And as of last week, we are proud to share that because of the existence of Good Black News, Founder and Editor-in-Chief Lori Lakin Hutcherson is featured in (and earned the international cover of) Australian quarterly Dumbo Feather.

(photo by Atsushi Nishijima)

The outpour of appreciation you’ve shown us via likes, comments, shares, reblogs and e-mails means the world to us, and only inspires GBN to keep getting bigger and better and create more original content.

Good Black News remains a labor of love for our Founder/Editor-In-Chief (Lori) and Lifestyle Editor (Lesa Lakin), and we must gratefully acknowledge this year’s contributors: Rebecca Carpenter, Susan CartsonisJulie Bibb Davis, Alyss Dixson, Dan Evans, Gina Fattore, Eric Greene, Thaddeus Grimes-GruczkaAshanti Hutcherson, Warren Hutcherson, Brenda Lakin, Joyce Lakin, Ray Lancon, John Levinson, Jason Lief, Neeta McCulloch, Hanelle Culpepper Meier, Jeff Meier, Catherine Metcalf, Minsun Park, Tajamika PaxtonPatrick-Ian PolkFlynn Richardson, Rosanna Rossetto, Gabriel RyderTerry Samwick, Becky Schonbrun, Susan ShafferCallie TeitelbaumTeddy TenenbaumArro Verse, and Joshua A.S. Young. You are all deeply, greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Maeve Richardson for re-conceiving and redesigning all the GBN logos and banners across social media.

Please continue to help us spread GBN by sharing, liking, re-tweeting and commenting, and consider joining our e-mail list via our “Contact Us” tab on goodblacknews.org. We will only use this list to keep you updated on GBN and send you our upcoming e-newsletter (fingers crossed!) — nothing else. And, of course, you may opt out at any time.

GBN believes in bringing you positive news, reviews and stories of interest about black people all over the world, and greatly value your participation in continuing to build our shared vision.

Thank you again for your support, and we look forward to providing you with more Good Black News in the coming year, and beyond!

Warmly,

The Good Black News Team

Lori Lakin Hutcherson (l) and Lesa Lakin (r), GBN Editors

Good Black News Wishes You and Yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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GBN thanks you for all of your support and goodwill throughout the years, and we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a blessed and bountiful Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays all around.  May positivity and the fortitude to change the world for the better guide us all in 2017 and beyond!

Love and Peace,

The Good Black News Team

EDITORIAL: Donald Trump Will Be the Next U.S. President; Where Do We Go From Here?

The Hutcherson family at the polls on Election Night 2016 (photo via Lori Lakin Hutcherson)

The Hutcherson family at our polling place on Election Night 2016 (photo via Lori Lakin Hutcherson)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

For personal and political reasons, I was really hoping this morning would never come: a morning where I’d see Donald J. Trump elected to lead this nation as its 45th president. It has come, however, and as I posited in my most recent editorial, What I Want to Be Able to Tell My Children About Their Next President, I was at an initial loss for what to say.

But before I said good-bye to my children this morning, I let them know who won the Presidency.  My seven year-old daughter Phoebe asked, “So it’s all boys?” I responded, “Yes. That’s how the results came in. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for what we believe in and what we think will be helpful for most people.  And in four more years, we can go back to our polling place and use our vote to make a change.”  My daughter nodded, satisfied.  My nine year-old son Xavier took it in, much harder to read, but his silence was more stoic than sad.  And then their father took them to school.

Like so many others, I then checked in on social media and witnessed a tide of anger, disbelief, sadness and deeply stirring, galvanized spirit pouring out of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers.  Soon after, I turned on the television and watched Hillary Clinton give perhaps the greatest, most moving speech of her life.  She was gracious, offering openness and healing while remaining indefatigably determined about her democratic agenda and beliefs:

Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things –- the rule of law, the principle that we’re all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too — and we must defend them.

…Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.

We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.  Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.

And then, for me, came two of her most stirring sentences:

Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it.

And:

Scripture tells us: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

So as of today, I am determined not only to continue to curate and write positive stories about people of color via Good Black News, but also to step it up and be a source for even more.  To help provide information, ideas and maybe even forums on ways to be pro-active for justice, fairness and inclusivity on local, state and national levels.  It may be loose, unpolished and grass roots-style; it may come in the form of tweets, Facebook live posts, IG snaps and super brief posts here, as our GBN squad is as small and volunteer-based as ever – but we vow to offer what we can, when we can, in whatever way we can.

It is my renewed and expanded mission to keep heart, love, be kind, be outspoken, work with whomever has good intentions, and to use any anger and rage as fuel for positive change.  And most of all, to work day-by-day, moment-by-moment, step-by-step to deliver on promises for a better,  more decent and humane future for our children, ourselves and our country.

Donations to National Museum of African American History and Culture to be Matched by Giving Day Sponsor Hyundai on 9/13 #GiveNMAAHC

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

In anticipation of its opening on September 24, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has launched a one-day giving campaign today, September 13th, to celebrate this momentous milestone for our nation and the African American community and to help ensure our future for all who follow.

We at GBN donated and signed up to aid this Giving Day effort, and will be posting and tweeting intermittently to help raise awareness and donations for NMAAHC.  If you’d also like to go beyond donating, you too can sign up to become a Giving Day Champion in celebration of a museum that tells a more complete story of America.

Simply click the link above to join and reach out to your network of friends and share the story of this amazing Museum. NMAAHC provides all the tools you need to spread the word about the Museum and this giving opportunity.

Thank you and let’s continue to share this amazing story of the African American experience with our nation and the world for generations to come.

To donate now, click here: https://givenmaahc.org/?utm_source=nmaahc.linkfast.com_donate_button&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=giveNMAAHC_2016_SF

Good Black News Wishes You and Yours a Merry Christmas

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On a day when family, friends and loved ones come together, GBN wishes you a day filled with love, laughter, harmony, and inspiration. As we give to each other, let us always strive to remember what a gift we have in life, and to cherish it always for ourselves as well as others.

Merry Christmas!

The Good Black News Staff

THE GOODS: Do Some Good, Get Some Good – H&M Garment Collecting – GBN

Dr. Thomas G. Lakin

Dr. Thomas G. Lakin

Today we are doing the Holiday Gift Guide a little differently. We’d like you to GIVE for sure. But this time how about giving AND helping the planet at the same time?

The picture above is of my father, Dr. Thomas G. Lakin. He was an educator, the first African-American chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District in California, in fact.

He believed whole-heartedly in the art of giving back… that knowledge is power… and that the Earth was ours to protect and nurture. With that instilled in us, my sister decided to do her part in giving back by creating what she hoped would become an online archive of all the great things that African-Americans do. Thus, Good Black News began. And yes, it is great to have a site that only reports on the GOOD we do (because, um…there is a lot of it!)

No doubt Dr. Lakin (if he were still alive) would be really proud of Good Black News. I am, and that is why I help out when time permits. In the photo above, our Dad is wearing a “Funky Planet “ T-shirt from a now-defunct, eco-conscious clothing venture of my sister Lori Lakin Hutcherson and her partners Teddy Tenenbaum and Bill Kuluva (I was the artist). My Dad loved it… and would often be photographed in Funky Planet product since it was “his daughters’” and well, he liked the idea of a cool planet.

Logo of an H and M store pictured in WarsawMy father was also one of the first guys I knew to get into health food and recycling… and that whole “earthy” thing way before it was the norm. So today, we’d like to help the Earth and get you a little discount on holiday shopping at the same time.

H&M is doing something great for the planet. Bring in your old clothes – no matter what brand or condition. And for every bag you turn in, you get a 15% discount card to be used on any purchase. Its GARMENT COLLECTING initiative earns H&M the proud label of being the first fashion company to collect clothes we no longer want and recycle or repurpose them. And for this we receive a 15% discount! Yep… it’s a Win Win.

For more information:

http://about.hm.com/en/About/sustainability/commitments/reduce-waste/garment-collecting.html

Shop H&M for affordable fashion: http://www.hm.com/us/

Lesa Lakin

article by Lesa Lakin