Thursday, August 21, 2008

Your Black World: Black Commentator Needs Your Help

Written by: Tolu Olorunda

Staff Writer -

As one who has benefited enormously from the generosity of the publishers, editors and community-at-large of Black Commentator, I was distraught today, when I received an e-mail message which informed me of the financial-status of Black Commentator. BC (as it’s often known) has been extremely benevolent to me in the past, publishing roughly 7 of my articles within a 3 month period. My relationship with BC is one which is treasured, and viewed as irreducible. As a result of this and much more, Black Commentator is considered as both an asset, and ally.

Black Commentator was first published in April 2002, and has since remained a rich, independent, indubitably-wealthy and inimitable resource for the construction of progressive-structures -- in favor of seeking economic justice, social justice and peace. The range of thought and perspective offered on Black Commentator is one which has consistently pushed the limit on the perceived monolith-identity of the Black Community. BC has, without a doubt, built a foundation that, on a weekly basis, advances the intellect, spirituality and social-consciousness of its readers.

Bill Fletcher Jr., Executive Editor, describes BC as a "serious piece of work." He is absolutely right. A magazine with readers in over 115 countries can be safely considered as "serious." More astonishing, and perhaps striking, is the fact that the staff - Bill Fletcher, Jr., Nancy Littlefield, and Peter Gamble - receives no financial compensation for the remarkable work they perform. Such courage and conviction in a publication, is worthy of praise, adulation, and support (most especially, financially).

Peter Gamble, Chief Technical Officer and publisher of Black Commentator, spoke of the current status of BC, as experiencing a "financial plight" which has now become "extremely critical." With over 300,000 visitors on a monthly basis, what more can be said of a readership with no overwhelming desire to support a publication which edifies it weekly. Gamble speaks of this tragedy, saying, "Less than 10 percent of those who visit BC understand the importance of making a contribution even as small as ten dollars." It is also worth noting, that each Black Commentator reader, spends an average visit length of 25 minutes at the BC website. There's a reason for that: the content and quality of the publication. According to the foundation, 21cf, the Black Community is disproportionately philanthropic in nature. Studies have shown that Black folks, more than any other ethnic group, provide more financial support - on an individual basis - to religious organizations and other causes deemed worthy of support. I would argue vigorously, that Black Commentator is more than worthy of the altruism of Blacks, Browns, Reds and progressive-whites. It is fully understandable why most would be cautious of their spending-habits at a time of economical-disaster, but a seed sown in the right soil, will ultimately germinate, and redound toward the profit of the planter. Black Commentator is a soil worth planting upon, and furthering the best of the Black-literary tradition through.

BC is urging its readership to assist in this most turbulent of times, and take a stand on the side of solidarity. For those willing and compelled to donate, pls. visit the Black Commentator contribution page or paypal and fill in the first slot with:

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