ABC13+: Houston Forward Times celebrates 60 years in Third Ward

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston's Forward Times is celebrating 60 years in business.

The historic newspaper is the largest Black-owned and independently published newspaper in the South.

"My father knew we had to show a different side of African Americans, not always the negative side," said CEO and publisher Karen Carter Richards. "We covered families. We covered people getting PhDs. We covered children. We covered our community, the good and the bad."

Reporters have covered it all, from police brutality to football.

But the mission has remained the same as it was when Julius Carter founded the paper in 1960.

His wife, Lenore, took over in the '70s. And, about 10 years ago, their daughter Karen was put in charge.

Now her daughter, Chelsea Lenora, has joined the family business as well.

"My dad used to say, 'If I die on a Monday, bury me on Tuesday and get the paper out,'" explained Richards.

The COVID-19 pandemic means most of the 10-12 employees are working from home. But the pandemic and surrounding political climate mean the paper's purpose is more important than ever.

Subscriptions are up, and staff members are now working on digitizing more articles and resources.

"We're dealing with two pandemics as African Americans right now -- one being COVID-19, one still being racism, which has been here since inception," said associate editor Jeffrey L. Boney. "We're at a turning point right now, a defining moment in the history of our country."

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