Moms on the move: Owner of the largest black-owned paper in the south

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There's always a spirited conversation happening at the Houston Forward Times.

The weekly newspaper was founded in Houston's Third Ward in 1960, but you cannot share the history of the largest black-owned and independently published paper in the South, without telling the story of the current publisher, Karen Carter Richards.

Her father, Julius Carter founded the Forward Times, and when he passed, his wife, Lenora, known as "Doll" took over.

"She always included us, and so I've tried to be the same way with my children," said Carter Richards.

Her oldest child, Chelsea is the General Manager. Her youngest, Nykayla, is the social media editor, but Karen hasn't forgotten their younger days.

"I had a swing over there, and a playpen over there, but you still had to work, keep them quiet while I was on a conference call," said Richards.

She thought she'd have a career in medicine, but journalism and publishing is in her blood. She ran the paper with her mom, the way her children work by her side now.

"I used to tell my mom, 'If you'd take these shackles off me I could do it.' Then again, I understood, not always but you still listened, regardless," said Richards.

She says listening is the key on both sides, and never forgetting that your family relationship comes first.

"They're going to always need you. I was 48 when my mom died, and I still needed her."

Karen says the digital age has turned their weekly paper into a daily and given it a broader reach. Having her daughters here has helped to keep the Houston Forward Times relevant.

"My father's vision has become my vision, but I see it big and bright," Richards said.
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