Well it’s been 10 years
February of 1995, marked the introduction of the first edition of the Bulletin – a free distribution publication dedicated to reporting upcoming events and happenings in the Greater Lansing African American community.
In the beginning we made several promises:
“The Michigan Bulletin is dedicated to provide an opportunity for young people to learn all aspects of the publishing business. The Bulletin intends to become a training ground for high school and college youth who have a desire to become involved in writing, editing, photography, graphics, layout and design, advertising sales, and other areas of the publishing business.
“For our readers, The Bulletin will cover a wide range of issues and provide timely, factual and concise information that will help our readers in their daily lives. We are preparing a variety of special editions which will include: Health Care Issues, The Family, Crime and Punishment, Black Music, Welfare Reform and Home Financing.”
We have since gone on to address the issues listed above and many more. Health Care and family issues are included in every edition of the Bulletin. From the very beginning controversial and historical issues have graced the pages of the newspaper.
The Bulletin was born the same year as the Million Man March, and reported on an intrepid group of local men who traveled to the event under the banner of St. Stephen’s Community Church.
In 1996 two February deaths stirred the Lansing Black community. Edward Swans, a 40-year-old homeless man, died in police custody, and Rex Bell, 26, died following a closing-time melee at Sparty’s nightclub. In response, The March for Justice was formed and its activities were chronicled in the Bulletin.
In 1997, the Rev. Michael Murphy won a seat on the Lansing City Council representing the 4th ward. The Bulletin was there, recording campaign progress and chronicling the issues.
In 1998, Lansing mayor David Hollister named an African American to head the police department, tapping Robert Johnson to become the first Black to serve as Lansing chief of police.
In 1999, seven women of color were among 14 honorees bestowed the coveted Diana Award given to celebrate the achievement of area women in both business and community service by the YWCA of Greater Lansing. The seven were: Nanette L. Reynolds, Dorothy J. Wilson, Merrittaa Hunt-Proctor, Josephine J. Ferguson Wharton, Carolyn Charles, Dorothy Y. Gonzales and Mrs. Georgia Brown.
In 2000, The Everett high school girls basketball team won the state championship posting a 55-50 victory over Detroit Martin Luther King.
The big news item of 2001 was the Lansing School District Bond Election. The issue was defeated.
The year 2002 witnessed the 45th anniversary of Riley Funeral Home. The family business was founded in 1957 by James Riley Sr. and has since been taken over by James Jr. Last May, more than 500 people braved the rain and cold in order to take part in a heart warming celebration of Magic Johnson Day at the Black Child and Family Institute. The world famous athlete and businessman, Ervin Johnson Jr. returned home to dedicate the opening of The Magic Johnson and HP Inventor (computer) Center.
Over the years the Bulletin has grown. We began as a monthly newspaper, however in 1999 we stepped up to an every two week press schedule. And we continue to grow.
last year we have printed the Bulletin utilizing a “full
color” process. We rejuvenated the Young Publishers Club
and now have a corps of budding young journalist regularly producing
a page in the paper and reporting other news. We also plan one
day to publish a magazine. We acknowledge that such plans are
ambitious, and well beyond our present means; however, the same
could have been said about our plans 10 years ago, and here we
are. We’re healthy, invigorated and eager to take on the
challenges and responsibilities of the next 10 years.
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