CEMOTAP observes its 30th anniversary of media activism

AmNews Staff Reports | 3/30/2017, 12:02 p.m.
CEMOTAP, the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People, has special plans for its 30th anniversary celebration Saturday, April ...
Betty Dobson Bill Moore

CEMOTAP, the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People, has special plans for its 30th anniversary celebration Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 2 p.m., when renowned constitutional attorney Gloria Browne-Marshall will keynote a program that will include paying tribute to four unsung activists: Professor James Blake, student adviser at Borough of Manhattan Community College; Sister Fredrica Bey, Newark, N.J. powerhouse activist; Pam Africa, indefatigable advocate for renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal; and African centered artist, Lucian Pinckney. Each will be recognized for invaluable service to the African race. The celebration will be held at the Robert R. Johnson Family Life Center, 172-17 Linden Blvd. St. Albans, N.Y., the site where CEMOTAP held its first meeting. Respondents to Marshall’s message will be Imhotep Gary Byrd, broadcast veteran and Newark activist, Larry Hamm.

Thirty years ago, CEMOTAP stepped up to confront the forces of corporate media racism after deciding that enough was enough. Enough of radio jocks whose programs were primarily used to demean and degrade Black life; enough of the New York Post characterizing Black folks as being lazy, untrustworthy deadbeats; enough of both electronic and print media savaging the image of Black folks with impunity. “Our name says it all,” said founding member Yvonne Hill.

For 30 years CEMOTAP has been supported by its community. It has never sought or accepted grants or funds from outside sources. The steadfast support of the community enabled the organization to own its headquarters at 135-05 Rockaway Blvd., in South Ozone Park, Queens. Since its founding, CEMOTAP’s role has included holding ongoing media, economic and social education forums; holding teach ins; conducting research; radio television demonstrating appearances; lobbying and polling; and providing support for conscious individuals whose reputations were damaged by racist media.

CEMOTAP forums are shown every Saturday and Sunday on Wat Cable TV. “We have stayed the course,” said Betty Dopson, “and we are not slowing down.”

Everyone is invited especially long time members. Admission is free. Call 718-322-8454 for additional information.