ELINOR RUTH TATUM
Elinor Tatum is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of the New York Amsterdam News, the oldest and largest black newspaper in the City of New York, and one of the oldest ethnic papers in the United States.
Ms. Tatum was appointed to Editor In Chief in 1997, becoming one of the youngest publishers in the history of the black press. She began at the newspaper as a journalist, covering issues local and national issues affecting Harlem and the black community.
Under her watch, the Amsterdam News was modernized to include an online edition, a new layout, and refocused with content relevant to a wider African American community in New York and across the nation. Ms. Tatum has positioned the newspaper as a critical part of the national political discourse concerning African Americans.
In addition to publishing the Amsterdam News, Ms. Tatum produces and co-hosts a weekly segment of Al Sharpton’s Weekly Radio Show “Keep’in It Real” – a nationally syndicated talk show.
Ms. Tatum’s political insight is increasing sought-after – she appears regularly on WNBC evening news, and on the new international network ARISE, and has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, 20/20, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, WNBC, Fox 5, NY1 News and CUNY TV. She has also been a substitute host on WWRL Radio. In Addition she is a sought out keynote speaker on topics of media, race, politics and culture.
Ms. Tatum was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in Government Studies in 1993. She continued her education at Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden, studying International relations and the Swedish model of government. Ms. Tatum holds a Master’s degree in Journalism in Mass Communications from New York University.
In addition to her career in journalism, Ms. Tatum is a philanthropist and holds many civic positions. She is currently, a member of the Board of Trustees of her college alma mater, St. Lawrence University. In addition she sits on the board of the New York Urban League, the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, the Chinatown YMCA, Manhattan Community Board 3, and the Creative Visions Foundation. She is also the former Secretary of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Ms. Tatum has received numerous honors for her work including: recognition in Who’s Who of American Women (the Millennium Edition and subsequent editions); a Doctor Of Humane Letters Honorus Causae from Metropolitan College (New York City); Manhattan Borough Presidents’ Women’s History Month Award; the Public Advocate of New York City Award of Distinction; the Women Who Make A Difference Award; Outstanding Business Empowerment from the New York Chapter of Black Business and Professional Women Award; Standing On their Shoulders Award from the National Action Network, the Good Scout Award, and the Pi Beta Phi’s Members of Distinction Award.
The Black vote in America has been key to the successful election of any Democratic president in recent history and of a countless number of local officials.
Improving police-community relations has been a topic of conversation for decades, especially in communities of color.
Over and over again we hear of convictions being overturned for Black men who have spent the better parts of their lives behind bars for crimes they did not commit. The reasons these men have languished in the penitentiaries of this country are multifold.
The New York State Unified Court System has always been a convoluted, complicated and sometimes very slowly functioning court.
A day before he was to address graduates from the police academy last Thursday at Madison Square Garden, Police Commissioner William Bratton sat with Amsterdam News Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Elinor Tatum and reporter Herb Boyd at police headquarters to discuss the latest policy developments in the NYPD.
Insert foot in mouth here. Or in other words, good morning, Commissioner Bratton. Recently NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper that a problem exists with hiring Blacks for the Police Department because “we have a significant population gap among African-American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them.”
The recent death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore that has triggered nights of violence is further confirmation of a report in The New York Times about “missing Black men.”
Over the past several months, a lot of attention has been focused on killer cops. Every other day, we seem to witness a case of police brutality that ends in murder.
Why don’t Black lives matter? Is it because according to the Constitution we are still just three-fifths of a person? Is it because our communities seem poorer than others? Or is it because when we dress in a hoodie, we are a threat?
When we look at the images of President Barack Obama crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge with his family, along with Rep. John Lewis and Amelia Boynton Robinson, who were both beaten on Bloody Sunday, and those thousands of others this past weekend, we think to ourselves, “Wow, we have come so far!” But have we?