Progressive Black & Journalists
|Industry||Media and Entertainment|
|Founded||University of Florida, USA
(June 29, 2006)
|Founder(s)||Brian J. Robertson, Jr.
Faren M. Humes
Stefani T. Saintonge
Shameka Y. Harris
|Headquarters||Gainesville, Florida, USA|
|Key people||Brian Robertson, President
Faren Humes, Vice President
Truth Be Told, PB&J Productions, EyesOnU
|Employees||15 (As of Spring 2007)|
|Website||BlackListed magazine homepage|
Progressive, Black, & Journalists, Inc. (PB&J) is an African-American journalism organization based at the University of Florida (UF). A spin-off from the Association of Black Communicators, PB&J began in an effort to combat the negative minority stereotypes that occur in the media and to sensitize the surrounding community to biased news coverage. However, unlike its predecessor, PB&J strives to achieve this goal through original, student-run programs. Though currently unaffiliated with any national umbrella organization, all PB&J executive-board directors are required to be registered members of the National Association of Black Journalists(NABJ).
History of PB&J
In 2005, The Independent Florida Alligator ran a cartoon drawn by Andy Marlette depicting Condoleezza Rice saying "nigga." African Americans across campus expressed outrage for the newspaper's use of the racial epithet. It brought to the forefront the reality that black students at UF had no media outlet to turn to fully discuss the racism behind the cartoon.
In response, the Association of Black Communicators agreed to continue Zion, a black magazine that only ran a few issues and had not been published for years. The Black Student Union at UF agreed to help fund the magazine, but as the controversy died down so did interest in the magazine. ABC was forced to abandon the project due to a lack of funding and lack of dedication.
Then members of ABC, Brian Robertson and Faren Humes, attempted to make a radio show called Truth Be Told in November 2005. However, because of lack of support from the organization, it was never completed.
Robertson decided to run for President of ABC in 2006 on the platform that Zion would continue if he were elected. He also wanted to complete the radio show. He lost the election to Maya Carpenter after being accused of voter fraud. He then left the organization taking half of ABC's executive board with him. In the summer of 2006 Robertson, along with Faren Humes, Stefani Saintonge and Shameka Harris created Progressive, Black and Journalists. Robertson served as its first president.
In September 2006 they began creating the magazine, naming it BlackListed. They also continued the radio show.
- Strengthen ties among black journalists
- To provide a media channel for the UF minority student population
- Promote diversity in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications
- Provide workshops that teach the surrounding community how to gain access to the media
- Promote career and internship opportunities for students
- Promote academic excellence by providing a support group for students with an interest in journalism
- To monitor local media outlets for insensitive statements directly targeted at the minority community and to respond accordingly
The newest edition to PB&J, PB&J Productions specializes in video editing and script writing. PB&J has created commercials that have received high volume on YouTube, as well as iTunes. Intellectual properties include Felix & Treyquan and Detangled.
BlackListed Magazine is a free publication and is the only University of Florida black student-run magazine. It pledges to explore black issues pertaining to both UF and the nation along with music and fashion as well. It currently has eight staff writers with the editor-in-chief position vacant. It accepts and encourages students and faculty at UF to contribute. Currently, none of the positions are paid.
Debuting on September 10, 2007, PB&J is planning to print 500 copies of the first issue with funding from advertisements and donations. They are hoping to increase the size by the second and third issues. All of the magazine's content plus additional articles will be available on the Web site when the issue is released.
BlackListed Magazine also publishes an online version, which aims to provide more critical, highly researched but opinion-based articles on issues pertaining to the African-American and Black experience. The current editor, Hananie Albert, accepts submissions via e-mail or through the forthcoming website.
Truth Be Told
Truth Be Told is a 30-minute bi-monthly podcast distributed through iTunes. Plans are currently under way to have it as a syndicated show on Magic 101.3 FM in Gainesville, FL. While covering many of the same topics as BlackListed, it differs in its approach by having a slightly comedic tone. Past stories have included such topics as Lydia Washington's Resignation Scandal and the UF African American Studies Program near closure.
Guests have included:
- Al Sharpton, Political Activist
- Darius Bost, UF IBC Director
- Sharon Burney, UF AASP Office Manager
- Lydia Washington, Former UF Student Body Vice-President
- Scherwin L. Henry, Alachua County Commissioner
- Rodney Long, Alachua County Commissioner
- The show is currently hosted by Myya Passmore, Zory Speights, Faren Humes, & Brian Robertson.
- EyesOnU Media Watchdog
- Eastside High School Mentor/Mentee Program
- The TruthBeTold Forum
Sponsors & Funding
PB&J is a non-profit organization that receives a major amount of its of outside funds from private contributors and businesses. Among these businesses are:
- Chris Chestnut Lawfirm, LLC
- FACES Modeling Troupe, Inc.
- Krispy Kreme Donuts