Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh Bless NABJ

(Performed at NABJ's 30th Convention in Atlanta in 2005)
Bless, oh bless, yes we all must
Bless our founders, the 44 men and women
Of distinguished ability, knowledge
Of masterful command on keyboards and microphones.

Who on Dec. 12, 1975 in Washington, D.C., formulated
The Nobly Acclaimed, Beautiful and very Justified,
Then, now and for years to come
Nationally strong and united
National Association of Black Journalists
Oh bless, yes bless we all must.

And thank those trailblazing reporters from Philadelphia
Acel Moore, Chuck Stone and Claude Lewis among others
Such as the late, once riveting and inviting
Vernon Jarrett of the Chicago Tribune,
And the once great, long since deceased Max Robinson,
The man with the voice that once captivated the nation’s capital
As one of the founding women, Maureen Bunyan still does
And other female pioneers of media excellence
Norma Adams-Wade from the Dallas Morning News,
Sandra Rosen Dillard from the Denver Post
And Mal Johnson, who was once legendary at Cox Broadcasting.

Just as legendary in NABJ along with all the other founders
For they have laid the groundwork, established the mission
For which helps the thousands of NABJ memberscontinue to thrive and drive forward.
A mission that's fueled by determination
For more elevation and job promotions
From the smallest to the largest newspapers, radio and TV stations
From frigid Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis
From the Big Apple, Philadelphia and Chicago, cities with oh-so-lovely skylines
To Hotlanta, Miami, Orlando, Dallas and Southern Cali.

Oh bless, yes we bless and thank our founders
While also applauding black-owned newspapers,
Our nation's oldest in the Philadelphia Tribune
And the Afro-American in Baltimore,pages of which the legendary Sam Lacy
once graced with delightful and insightful words
And, for those who do not know but need to know,
Lacy also played a major role in Jackie Robinson breaking
Major League baseball’s color barrier in 1945.

Oh yes, that's why we bless
Why we as a whole continue so ambitiously
With strong minds, beating hearts,
Unbreakable will, undeniable chase for continued progress

Oh yes, yes for NABJ is large and will become larger,
Mighty and even mightier as long as NABJ's current and soon-to-be-members
Just stay on course, focused to build stronger bonds and friendships
Focused to stamp and plant our handprints and footprints all over this country
Focused to just be as our founders surely hoped
And that is journalists always on the move
While always making note that we are proud members of NABJ.

For NABJ is about helping black journalists rise
For NABJ is about helping to open doors, gates, and most of all
The minds of potential employers to what journalists of color really offer
Through the use of our fingers, voices, creative minds
For NABJ is an organization about helping dreams come true
For NABJ is about love and respect
As our founders obviously had
As all our past presidents who carried us into our 30th anniversary
And future presidents who'll lead us forward even more UNITED
In quests to maintain the strength and integrity of our organization
An organization that, bless its heart
Will remain proud and very accomplished and solidified
Through the continuous hustle and bustle of our organization's members
As time ages on, Bless, oh blessed, yes we are.

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