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Dallas Remembers Contributions of Black Publisher

Dallas is mourning the loss, but remembering the legacy, of a man who helped give the local black community a voice. 

Debra Blair Abron says the pain of losing her brother Jordan Blair last week is hard to bear.

Abron: “It just seems like a part of you has been torn out.”

Jordan Blair is a brother, son, husband and father, and his family and friends feel his loss acutely. But as Publisher of the black paper Elite News, Blair’s passing resonates with the entire African American community.

His father William started the paper back in the 1940s.

Abron: “My Dad started this paper with $2 in his pocket and I remember him being at home, we could smell the glue when he was putting the paper together.”

Abron says Elite News has always been a family effort and it exists to report from an honest, insightful African American point-of-view.

Abron: “We just want to tell it like it is from a Black perspective to bring the communities together.”

Dallas is home to several African-American newspapers. In addition to Elite News, the Dallas Weekly and Dallas Examiner report on Dallas’ Black community. A new online paper, the South Dallas Blog, is also making headlines.

Jordan Blair’s nephew Marc Blair says keeping those publications up and running is essential to the education of young black people even when it isn’t black history month.

Blair: “If it had not been for the Black newspaper, mainly ours because I’m so close to our family newspaper, I wouldn’t have known a lot of things about the history of Black people.”

Abron says Elite News isn’t going anywhere. In fact, she expects it to be bigger and more progressive 25 years down the road.  She says the loss of her brother has left an obvious void, but family members will undoubtedly do their best to fill it.  And it’s that kind of positivity that carries Elite News to the press each week.

Abron: “That’s what the Elite News is all about.  It’s about progressing in the City of Dallas, it’s about positiveness in the City of Dallas, and letting our communities come together as one to make this a better place for all of us.”

Funeral Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.