The Lumberjack has its first African American woman as editor-in-chief in 90 years
In 1929 the Lumberjack as we know it today put out its first newspaper. Ninety years later I became the very first African American editor-in-chief in the history of the Lumberjack. To be true to myself, I identify first as an African American but I am also a woman who has made monumental history. Without first acknowledging that it took 90 years for someone who looks like me to hold this position disregards our history.
If I’m being honest, it is disheartening that it took nine decades for an African American to be elected for this position. It shouldn’t have taken that long. However, I’m very pleased that the past 90 years of the LJ will soon be digitized. History will be made easily available for the public. They’ll be able to look back on our past and reflect or criticize how far we have came as a university and as a society.
The way that the editor-in-chief is elected is through a democratic election process. Each candidate gives their statements to our classmates that explain who we are, our experience and our plans for the newspaper. Afterward, there is an election where each student votes who they think should be the next editor-in-chief.
As a young black journalist coming from Oakland, I naively doubted my abilities to lead this paper, but my peers were confident in my leadership. After all, flowers never pick themselves.
When I look around my peer group, I see young journalists who motivate me to become the best that I can be. They motivate me to challenge the current ideologies that surround us and they dare me to dream of accomplishing things much bigger than myself.
My goals for this paper is to keep it cultured and to represent its student body. However, I plan to remain truthful to the realities that surround us and to do so unapologetically.
I invite you to stand with me on this platform and walk this journey with me. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”