For more than 38 years, T.C. Christian, Jr. has been publishing the monthly PURE NEWS USA, Springfield's Black newspaper. Coinciding with Juneteenth observances, his current edition is headlined, "Our Final Issue." The paper grew out of Christian's grassroots organization founded in 1982, People United for Rights and Equality, which marched on city hall to protest lack of Black representation on the Springfield City Council. When the group's early efforts got little press attention, PURE NEWS was born so Christian could "tell it like it is," which became the paper's slogan. A few years later, the federal Voting Rights Lawsuit paved the way for Black city council representation, and now three of the 10 council members are black. "We're better off now than we were then," Christian said to Illinois Times. Rarely militant or angry, PURE NEWS reported the positive news and emphasized the hopeful voices that tried to unite the Black community. Publishing hasn't been easy, and Christian noted that 300 Black newspapers have closed in recent years. Did newspapering make him rich?, we asked. "Not financially, but from the heart," he said as he looks forward to retirement. "I'm OK." – Fletcher Farrar, editor

About The Author

Fletcher Farrar

Fletcher Farrar is president of Illinois Times .

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