These words from Black activist, feminist poet Audre Lorde are the driving force of URL Media. How do we as Black and Brown people define ourselves on our own terms, liberated from the fantasies created by the white gaze? We organize and mobilize to create strength in numbers, values and perspectives, telling our own stories by, for and about our own people. This is what URL -- which stands for Uplift, Respect and Love -- is determined to do.
We announced our formation a little more than a week ago and thank you for signing up to join this journey. Honestly, I was reluctant, certain that we were not quite ready. But Mitra was equally certain that now was the time, repeatedly saying the next four years couldn’t look like the last 400. So we took a leap of faith, planting our flag in the ground to say, as my great, great grandmother Jenny proclaimed, when Union soldiers arrived on the Virginia plantation where she was enslaved, “Here we is.”
The response has been amazing. Support has come from all corners: fellow journalists, corporations, foundations, academics, celebrities and, most importantly, individuals like you. Here's a recent article that captures this. Thank you for signing up for the URL newsletter; this is the first of occasional updates.
Frederick Douglass (Left) by Marion Doss is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Ida B. Wells (Right) by US Department of State is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0, Modified to B&W
Throughout time, ideas, creativity and courage have been the engines of change. As we celebrate Black History Month, I have been fortified by the determination of our ancestors who stepped out on faith when the stakes were perilously high. There was John B. Russwurm and Samuel Cornish who in 1827 launched Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper, at a time when slavery was the law of the land--even in New York where the paper was started. And Frederick Douglass, born enslaved, started the North Star newspaper in 1847, becoming one of the most prolific writers, orators and abolitionists across the world. Ida B. Wells, who was born into slavery in 1862, used the power of the pen as a journalist and publisher to spearhead the anti-lynching campaign. After three of her friends were lynched in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1892, she went to work studying, reporting on and speaking out against the brutal practice of silencing Black progress through murder. At that time, she was only 30.
I am inspired by their fearlessness, perseverance, passion, creativity and spirit of possibility. Despite virulent racism and sexism, they made it their mission to fight for the liberation of their people – no matter what. That is what we still need today.
So we will harness the power of our ancestors, knowing we are not walking alone. URL Media is stepping into a river that has been flowing for centuries, a quest to uplift, respect and love the communities we serve.
Co-founder, URL Media
CEO, WURD Radio