The Houston Forward Times walked away with seven (7) awards at the recent 2021 National Newspaper Publishers Association Fund Messenger Awards that was held virtually on Thursday, June 24 as part of the NNPA’s annual convention. The 2021 NNPA Fund Messenger Awards was sponsored by Molson Coors, Google News Initiative, and Facebook Journalism Project.
The seven Messenger Award honors mark a milestone for the Houston Forward Times, especially in areas where they have never placed.
For the first time in the history of the newspaper, the Houston Forward Times received second place honors in the John B. Russwurm Pinnacle Award category, which acknowledges the Best of the Best in the Black Press and is presented to the newspaper that accumulates the most points in the NNPAF’s annual journalism competition.
In 1827, Russwurm co-founded Freedom’s Journal with Samuel E. Cornish, the country’s first African American-owned and operated newspaper with the credo: “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”
Continuing with its modern legacy of being recognized for its newspaper quality and excellence, the Houston Forward Times also received second place honors in the John H. Sengstacke Award category for Newspaper Excellence. In addition to that prestigious honor, the newspaper also received third place in the Robert L. Vann category for Layout & Design (Broadsheet), which is driven by Houston Forward Times Managing Editor Grace Boateng. Boateng also earned second place honors in the Ada S. Franklin Award category for Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle.
Houston Forward Times Entertainment Editor Chelsea Lenora White earned first place honors in the Armstrong Ellington Award category for Entertainment for her piece entitled “Lenora Makes (Her) Story.”
Houston Forward Times Associate Editor Jeffrey L. Boney received two awards for his journalistic work. He earned the top prize in the Wilbert L. Holloway Award category for his Environmental piece entitled “When Did You Know? Community Leaders and Residents Demand Answers and Justice of Environmental Hazards that Have Created Cancer Clusters and Devastated Black Communities across Houston.”
Boney also earned second place in the Faith & Religion Award category for his Faith and Religion piece entitled “Shepherd Manson B. Johnson: Teacher and Community Leader Who Lived His Mantra “Stay on Top” Succumbed to COVID-19.”
Congratulations go out to the entire Houston Forward Times team for another successful year of being recognized for great work in the world of journalism and Black media.