By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
The North Dallas Gazette (NDG) was awarded first place honors in the Robert S. Abbott Best Editorial category at the 2018 National Newspapers Publishers Association’s (NNPA) Merit Awards on June 28 at the celebration in Norfolk, Virginia. The winning editorial was published on Nov. 1, 2017, written by Ed Gray, NDG Senior Columnist it was entitled “Confederate Statues: The White Man’s Burden.”
“I am very humbled to be honored,” Ed Gray stated when notified of the award. “It is our duty as members of the Black press to speak the truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be,” he added.
Throughout 2017 across the nation and particularly in Dallas, what to do about Confederate Statues was an on-going and contentious discussion. Gray’s coverage on the issue actually kicked off a month before the protests Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 11 which led to violent confrontations and ultimately the death of three individuals and injuries to more than 30 before the weekend was over. He called on the community and leaders to do better on July 26, 2017, with his editorial entitled, “Dallas, Lose Your Plantation Mentality and Remove Confederate Symbols.” Eventually, Dallas would develop a plan for removal of several Confederate symbols throughout the city following the advice of a task force appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Co-founder and Publisher Thurman R. Jones accepted the award on behalf of NDG at the NNPA’s 2018 Annual Convention: Celebrating 191 Years of Black Press in America Sustaining, Engaging & Mobilizing Black Communities at the Hilton Nofolk The Main.
The criteria for the editorial award was based on clarity of thought, community interest, style, and relevance. Named in honor of the historic trailblazing publisher Robert Sengstacke Abbott. He was the founder, editor and publisher of the renown Chicago Defender in 1905, the publication under his leadership reached more than 200,000 African American readers throughout the country weekly in the 1920s.