By Jackie Hampton
The American Cancer Society is actively fighting breast cancer by helping women get tested to find breast cancer earlier and helping them to understand treatment options and cope with the physical and emotional side effects. As a breast cancer survivor, I was one of the fortunate ones. I have been cancer free for over 10 years, but I wish to see the day that there is a cure. Also, on our 23rd anniversary, we want to dedicate this issue to ‘Get Out to Vote’ – GOTV. The Mississippi Link has attended several events where we registered new voters. As we dedicate this issue to GOTV, we encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. Many people fought and died so that all citizens could take part in the voting process, and we hope that every registered voter will take advantage of this right.
Each year on The Mississippi Link’s anniversary, I reflect on where we are today, how far we have come and, more importantly, where we are headed. I reflect on how blessed we are to have had over a span of 23 years, very loyal readers and subscribers, loyal advertisers and talented staff, present and past, who have given their best to make sure we produce a product of which we are proud. The Mississippi Link is a proud member of the Mississippi Press Association and the National Newspaper Publishers Association also known as the Black Press. Both these organizations have been important to our growth and development over the years. We are extremely proud of not only our weekly print edition, but also our daily online edition which focuses on new events that occur each day. We realize that today, we must have a strong social media presence while we continue to produce a print edition that our readers and subscribers look forward to receiving each week.
As a member of the Mississippi Press Association, we believe in the power of community newspapers to deliver unmatched content and audience reach in the communities we serve. It is a valued membership that The Mississippi Link continues to enjoy. As a member of NNPA, we strongly believe in the legacy of the Black Press, because it reminds us of why we exist today. Prior to the Black Press being established in the early 19th century, blacks didn’t exist in main stream newspapers unless portrayed in a negative manner. In a documentary titled “The Black Press; Soldiers without Swords,” blacks were not born, didn’t get married, didn’t die, didn’t fight in any wars and didn’t achieve anything of a scientific manner. As a result, in the year 1827 three black men gathered in Lower Manhattan and decided they would use the press as a weapon; they pooled their money and started a newspaper called Freedom’s Journal, the first newspaper in the United States to be published by African Americans. It was in the first edition of Freedom’s Journal that the editors Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm proclaimed, “Too long have others spoken for us . . . We wish to plead our own cause.”
African-American owned newspapers sprung up all over the country showing that blacks were indeed born, got married, graduated, and were high achievers in numerous areas. We exist today so that we can tell our own stories. We enjoy going into the community and telling stories of all the positive things that are taking place. We enjoy working in the community, be it giving out water to runners at the Blues Marathon, speaking at colleges and universities during their media day and other events.
We take part in such causes as voter registration, the white cane walk, sickle cell walk, breast cancer walk. But our most important outreach is working with interns in the field of journalism to help prepare them for their future careers. We offer them the opportunity to report, write, edit and learn the techniques of layout and design here at The Mississippi Link.
We know that our future is bright because we try to always do what is right. If we miss the mark, it’s not because we are not trying.