The idea stemmed from a newsletter called “Hoppies Journal” which was printed in the summer of the year Joe Hopkins’ father – Albert “Hoppie” Hopkins – passed away, in 1989. We were encouraged by an old friend, Ernest Eskridge, to make it into a newspaper. The newspaper became a reality as a result of our hometown African American newspaper publisher, the late Joe Coley, who published the Bakersfield News Observer, and who offered to publish our very first Journal absolutely free. From that point, we were guided step by step by what we like to refer to as “guardian angels.”
Each year, we have attempted to be more than just another newspaper serving the African American market. Locally, we’ve tackled issues of concern and attempted to be another voice for the community on subjects such as hiring practices, lack of diversity, and racism in city government, city departments, the Police Department and police enforcement, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, the Pasadena Rose Bowl, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the Pasadena Unified School District.
Publishing a community newspaper is both rewarding and frustrating. It’s rewarding in the sense that it provides a chance to accentuate the positive and take on battles and issues that affect our community. It’s frustrating in that, sometimes, some of those in the very community that we attempt to support still refuse to support this paper. We see as one of the continuing battles the fight is to get people in our community to support Black businesses, Black organizations, Black professionals and this Black newspaper. With the hands-on help and encouragement of community friends such as Stan Rich, Dr. Gerda Govine, Sandra Knox, Del and Sam Yarbrough, and Rick and Pat Adams, we have attempted to make this paper a contributing member of the community. We salute those staff persons, volunteers and contributors who have made a tremendous impact on the paper over the years such as Fred Hubbard (editor), Denni Young Wilson (desktop design, layout and typeset), Thedra McMillian (typing and layout), Rod McIver (sales), Evelyn Bomar (writer and sales), Betty J. Ford (writer and sales), John Randolph Rogers (sports writer), Carl Betts (entertainment writer), Robert Spurlock, Steven Quinn and Gwen Mason (deliveries), Annie Franklin and the late David Evans (food editors), Stephanie Hopkins (research), Makini Aminika Hopkins (staff), Mildred Hawkins (volunteer staff), Dr. Glovioell Rowland and Derrick Dancer (Religion writers), Pastor Dorothy Scott (Religion writer), Erinn Venerable (women’s page), and Maria Jimenez (Latino Journal writer and sales).
We applaud our advertisers. Without you there would be no Journal. Thanks to each of you. Those advertisers who have been with us since the early years and who continue to advertise are Metropolitan Baptist Church and Woods Valentine Mortuary. Bless you! Because of their long and dedicated support to us, we chose to honor these two advertisers at our Journal 20th Anniversary Celebration.
Through the years we have been honored with awards for the quality of our paper and for our service to the community by organizations and groups such as Women In Action, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., PCC Black Student Union, PCC Black Employees, Pasadena NAACP, Altadena NAACP, Pasadena Church of God, the West Coast Black Publishers Association, the Annual Trumpet Awards Foundation, and the Kappa Alpha Psi Faternity, Inc. Realizing how blessed we have been, we firmly believe in giving something back and have taken pleasure in presenting events which might be of benefit to the community such as the Pasadena Black Expo, “Jesus Is The Reason For the Season” Gospel Jazz Concert and the Marketplaces at Hopkins Village. We have taken great pride in publishing this newspaper for the past twenty years and look forward to continuing to serve the community with the positive stories in the community. And in June 2002 we began publishing the “Latino Journal.” Though it is no longer being printed, in the coming issues we hope to continue to print the stories about the successes of Black and Latino youth, community and businesses. These are the types of stories we believe in highlighting, rather than only the negatives which we read about in the local daily media. And with your continued support, we will continue to diligently work for the community we love.
We sincerely thank you,
Joe and Ruthie Hopkins, Publishers