The Crusader Newspaper Group

Houston Defender Publisher rescued from floods

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) today issued an urgent national call for support for all people, who are being impacted by the devastating flood waters from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, especially now in Houston.

In addition to the many thousands of Texas and other Gulf Area residents living in uncertainty and crisis as a result of the impact of Hurricane Harvey, we’ve learned that one our own NNPA member publishers, Sonny Messiah-Jiles, the publisher of the Houston Defender, along with her family, were rescued by boat, yesterday from their home.

The NNPA has several other member publishers in the area and we are attempting to get an update on the status of fellow publishers Karen Carter Richards of the Houston Forward Times, and Francis Page of the Houston Style Magazine and their families. We are also asking that all of our member publishers—and everyone of us as Americans—remember and support those affected by the crisis in Texas in our concerned hearts and fervent prayers.

Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards on Monday, August 28, texted NNPA Chairman Dorothy R. Leavell to say she and her staff were ok. Richards said the office was hit with a little water from the floods. Although she expressed concerned about the paper’s operations, Richards said she didn’t plan on missing an issue after publishing every week for 57 years.

Direct support and donations can be made through the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or online at

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is a trade group that represents more than 200 Black-owned media companies. The NNPA promotes the profession of journalism and the business of publishing, while celebrating the evolution of the Black Press in America. Learn more about the NNPA at

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