The Sampson-Duplin Spotlight made a quiet entry into Sampson and Duplin Counties with its October publication. By doing so, it became the first publication in the counties to publish news from a Black perspective. The community support of the Spotlight has been strong, broad-based and is growing.
Community organizations and leaders welcomed the Spotlight with open arms and recognized the important value that it will add to their communities. Organizations that have been especially helpful and supportive are the NAACP, Deltas, the Sampson High School Alumni Association (SHSAA) and the Kenansville Eastern Missionary Baptist Association (KEMBA). They have welcomed Spotlight presentations and been very aggressive in building community support and relationships.
With the primary distribution of the Spotlight targeted through churches, supporters are helping with outreach and building relationships with various churches and church associations. To date, nearly 100 predominately Black churches have been identified and are being approached by Spotlight supporters to become involved in our efforts. In addition to the entities above, outreach is underway to several other church associations and to Black businesses that will also serve as distribution outlets for the Spotlight.
In addition to quality news from a Black perspective, the Spotlight offers a unique forum for progressive networking in Sampson and Duplin Counties. The publication carries community news that highlights people, organizations, businesses and events that have special relevance to Black communities.
Much of the support for the Spotlight comes from a historical recognition that Black communities have been unserved and underserved by media and from recognition that it is the responsibility of Black people to build businesses and institutions in their communities that provide jobs and opportunities to grow and succeed in Black communities.
For the Spotlight to succeed it must add value to the efforts of community leaders in building healthy, safe and prosperous communities. Our supporters must be the eyes and ears of the Spotlight and serve as advisors in order to ensure that we are aware of and sensitive to their unique concerns. The presence of our publication will bring with it a focus on positive engagement in political, economic and social justice. •