November 3, 2015

The Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship and Youth Foundation

Karen Carter Richards CEO/Publisher

Karen Carter Richards

The Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship and Youth Foundation was established in September 2010. After the sudden passing of Lenora Carter, Publisher and CEO of Forward Times Publishing Company, Inc., the daughter of the founders, Karen Carter Richards, current Publisher and CEO of the Forward Times, took the initiative of establishing the Foundation in her parents’ honor.

Julius Carter and his wife, Lenora, founded the Forward Times Publishing Company in January, 1960, and during their tenure the Carters privately assisted students who aspired to excel in the area of journalism. The Carters saw a need to positively influence the decline in interest when it came to vetting stories, qualifying subjects, and upholding journalism ethics by extending more knowledge to students by providing a means to help them garner better education in the field of journalism.

In keeping with the legacy and history of the newspaper, Karen Carter Richards understood that the future of new media could be breached with the volumes of white noise reporting online. Currently, as part of the Carter legacy, the private assistance once personally handed out to a few students is now available to more students who are seeking to advance their careers in the field of journalism and digital communications through the Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship and Youth Foundation, a 501c3 company.

The Carter legacy will live on through the well-appointed works of the students who have benefited from both the scholarships offered and the Foundation itself. In keeping with the Foundation’s charter, it has partnered with local businesses and corporations to grant scholarships to qualified high school and university students that meet eligibility requirements.

As of 2017, the Foundation has granted more than $30,000 in scholarships and helped numerous low and/or medium income high school seniors and college students from both public and private schools within the Greater Houston Metropolitan area to continue their education. Additionally, the Foundation affords these students the unique opportunity for real world experience by providing an intern experience at the Forward Times Publishing Company, Inc.

Julius Carter founded The Houston Forward Times in 1960 as a means of uniting Black Houston to overcome the obstacles that were holding us in the shackles of second class citizenry. Mr. Carter realized that we could only overcome in unity, and needed a mechanism to communicate our needs to each other; hence came The Forward Times.

Mr. Carter passed away suddenly in 1971 after catapulting Forward Times into the third major newspaper in Houston – a weekly, only behind the two dailies. Forward Times had truly become the voice of hope for Black Houstonians.

The Forward Times reported on the dramatic events of the 1965 Voting Rights, and sadly covered the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. It was our duty then, as it is now, to keep the community informed of the true issues that affect our lives with a Black perspective.

We covered the rise of the Movement in the 1960s and continue to be the trusted voice that proudly expresses the African-American point of view on community as well as national affairs.

Julius Carter instilled in us a sense of pride and commitment to the community that no other newspaper embodies. We are willing to report the hard truths, without fear or favor, about what is happening to our community on the local, state and national level.

Forward Times was born during a time of dire need for African Americans living in Houston and across America. Today, we pledge to continue to be a beacon on the hill and shine the light of truth for our community to march forward with the times.

That is what Julius Carter expected of us when he lived, and it is the mandate he left us to carry on.

Lenora “Doll” Carter was the wife and successor of Julius Carter. At the time of the Houston Forward Times’ inception, Mrs. Carter served as General Manager and Advertising Director. In 1971, at the tender age of twenty-nine, she became the CEO, managing editor and publisher of the Houston Forward Times newspaper, the South’s largest independently owned and operated African-American newspaper. Her doubters predicted that she would be out of business within the year. To their surprise, the business celebrated fifty years in business under her command.

Mrs. Carter’s life and story validates the American Dream. Imagine, if you will, a little girl being born on March 12, 1941 into the large family of J.V. and Dessie Mae McQueen in the small town of Corrigan, Texas, becoming “The Lenora ‘Doll’ Carter”. Blessed with obvious beauty and a brain that bordered on genius, her life changed forever when she met and married the visionary Julius P. Carter. Even so, the defining moment in her life was when she picked up the baton in 1971 after her husband passed, and she continued to take the Forward Times to the next level.

Mrs. Carter saw doubtless success during Forward Times’ peak years, which expanded a period between the 1960s civil rights struggles well into the early 1980s affirmative action era. However, as things began to get tough for the Black Press when the White media began targeting Black consumers, Mrs. Carter was faced with the dilemma of keeping or selling her business. She promised herself that she would stay in business, at least until The Forward Times reached its fiftieth anniversary. Mrs. Carter’s tenacity and no-nonsense attitude, along with the help of the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA) allowed her promise to become a reality.

On April 10, 2010, in its fiftieth year of business, The Forward Times suffered a devastating blow when our beloved Lenora “Doll” Carter passed away unexpectedly.

Just as Forward Times founder, Julius P. Carter trained his wife, Lenora “Doll” Carter how to take the baton of leadership to keep moving forward, that legacy has now been passed on to their daughter, Karen Carter Richards, who worked alongside and shadowed her mother for over three decades.

Lenora “Doll” Carter’s life’s destiny was fulfilled once she saw to it that the Forward Times made it to its 50th Anniversary and we know that she is beaming with pride as we celebrate fifty-five years of Reporting Truth, Affecting Change and Moving Forward!