MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Westside Gazette, a newspaper based in Broward County and established to serve an African-American audience, is publishing its 50th-anniversary edition this week.
If newspapers could talk, then Bobby Henry’s Westside Gazette, the oldest African-American newspaper in the region, would speak volumes about the history of Black Fort Lauderdale.READ MORE: 60 Years After The Bay Of Pigs Invasion, Many Cuban Americans' Distrust Of The Democratic Party Still Affects National Politics
Henry is the publisher of a paper founded 50 years ago this month by his parents.
“My dad started his paper when he was misquoted in one of the newspapers, one of the daily papers. And he started in our living room home. My mother, who was a nurse by profession, quit her job and became the first editor of the publication,” said Henry.
There was no other Black newspaper in the community when Levi Henry launched the Westside Gazette.
“My father’s motto for the paper was, ‘A positive paper, for positive people,'” said Henry.
It was a motto that CBS4’s Jim Berry brought up 30 years ago, at a gala commemorating the newspaper’s 20-year anniversary.
“You find good news about positive people doing positive things. So Levi Henry, how come I have not been in your paper,” said Berry.READ MORE: Justice Department Sues Roger Stone In Fort Lauderdale Over $2 Million In Unpaid Taxes
For the record, the Westside Gazette did fix that a few years later.
Levi Henry was known for wearing big hats and taking on big issues. He helped desegregate Fort Lauderdale beaches.
His newspaper took on a politician for making racist comments, but mostly it earned a niche reflecting a long-ignored community.
Berry asked Bobby Henry, “Why do you think the west side of that is still relevant today?”
“The Westside Gazette is needed now more than ever. We just didn’t realize that Black lives matter. You know, we just didn’t all of a sudden become Black and proud. We understood it 50 years ago and we understand it today,” he said.
The Westside Gazette continues to publish once a week.
And to Bobby Henry, this newspaper is like a family heirloom.MORE NEWS: South Florida Restaurants Desperate For Workers Offer $400 Signing Bonuses
“Doing what we have been doing for the past 50 years is much more important than even mining gold. Gold, you can replace gold. There are some memories, some stories and some times you could never ever replace,” he said.