HOUSTON – On October 2, 2015 the 55-year legacy of the Houston Forward Times was celebrated during a star-studded Mardi Gras-themed celebration, emceed by Fox 26’s Isiah Carey and featuring the legendary Zapp Band held at The Power Center Houston. Celebrities, elected officials, local business leaders and community influencers all paid tribute to founder Julius Carter, and the role the newspaper has played in covering African American news for over half a century. A festive band led in sponsors and supporters who carried umbrellas, Houston Forward Times-branded napkins and whistles. Cary Yates, senior vice president of Wells Fargo and Winell Herron, Group Vice President of public affairs at H-E-B offered the official welcome, followed by an invocation by Pastor Manson Johnson of Holman Street Baptist Church.
Jeffrey L. Boney, associate editor at the Houston Forward Times introduced a touching video presentation that chronicled the newspaper’s impact on the news industry and local community. The video featured key historical details and remarks from Ralph Cooper, Georgia Provost, Gerald Womack, Pastor Johnson, and Karen Carter Richards, daughter of Julius and Lenora Carter and the newspaper’s current Publisher and Chief Executive Officer.
Karen Carter Richards delivered an emotional speech thanking sponsors, the Houston Forward Times staff and her parents for their support, and for the example
of leadership which has served as the foundation of her current efforts overseeing both the newspaper and the Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship and Youth
Foundation. The foundation benefits deserving students, many of which are low- to- moderate income students, in pursuit of a degree in journalism, photography, printing, broadcasting or digital communications, and provides them with internships to gain practical experience in their prospective fields.
During the event, the foundation presented five scholarships to Houston Forward Times’ interns, who were introduced by Jeffrey L. Boney, Grace Boateng, managing editor and Chelsea Lenora White, entertainment editor and Richards’ daughter. KCOH personality and radio icon Don Sam introduced Zapp, who delivered a 90-minute high-energy performance that kept everyone on their feet, followed by an evening of music provide by DJ Chilly Bill Smith.
The event was sponsored by Wells Fargo, Lane Staffing, H-E-B, Communication Workers of America, Capital One Bank, Magic 102, the breakfast klub, Black Dollar Project, American Heart Association, and many more.