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Black Journalists, Media Executives in Louisiana, Nationwide to Discuss ‘Blackness and the Media’ in LSU Miniseries this October

BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – The LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs’ three-part miniseries, “Blackness and the Media,” kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. CST. Hosted in collaboration with the Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists and the LSU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, the October miniseries is the second installment of the Reilly Center’s yearlong racism series in partnership with Southern University and A&M College’s Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences, Louisiana Budget Project, NAACP Louisiana State Conference and LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Spearheaded by LSU Manship School of Mass Communication assistant professor in public relations Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, “Blackness and the Media” will feature conversations on the advocacy of the Black Press, Black representation in mainstream media and Black social media influencers leveraging their platforms to champion social justice and equality for Black communities.

“When I learned about the Reilly Center’s plans to host the racism series, I knew there needed to be a conversation about the Black Press and its role in our society,” said Kennedy Haydel, who will moderate the series. “My own research focuses on the historical influences of the Black College Press and social movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, so it was a natural decision to collaborate with the Reilly Center on this miniseries.”

The schedule for “Blackness and the Media” is below.

Oct. 7 | The Black Press: Advocating from the Beginning to Today | 3:30 p.m. CST

The first installment of “Blackness and the Media” will feature a conversation about the genesis of the Black Press, its advocacy role, the twists and turns of its existence, and ongoing fight to remain relevant during a time of increased media competition.

Panelists include:

  • Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor in Public Relations, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, Moderator
  • Anitra Brown, Managing Editor, The New Orleans Tribune
  • Crystal deGregory, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation
  • Renette Dejoie-Hall, President and Publisher, The Louisiana Weekly
  • Cheryl Smith, Publisher of I Messenger News Group and Secretary of the National Association of Black Journalists


Oct. 21 | Justice for Us All: Black Journalists and Their Continued Fight for Accuracy, Representation and a Seat at the Table| 3:30 p.m. CST

This conversation will focus on Black representation in mainstream media outlets, as journalists and decision-makers are paramount in the continued fight for racial equity and social justice.

Panelists include:

  • Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor in Public Relations, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, Moderator
  • Jarvis DeBerry, Editor, States Newsroom, Louisiana
  • Brandi Harris, Morning Anchor, WBRZ News 2
  • Angel Jennings, Assistant Managing Editor for Culture and Talent, Los Angeles Times
  • Marc Spears, Senior NBA Writer, The Undefeated


Oct. 28 | New Media, New Rules: How Social Media and Digital Media Outlets Help Expand the Black Narrative and March Toward Real Systemic Change | 3:30 p.m. CST
In the final installment, Kennedy Haydel will moderate a conversation about how social media influencers are leveraging their followers to champion social justice and equality for Black communities near and far.


The series will be hosted using Zoom and broadcast on Facebook Live. Admission is free, but you must register in advance on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom meeting access code. Episodes will also be recorded and uploaded to the Manship School’s YouTube channel. For more information, contact ksibley1@lsu.edu.



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