Sixty four years ago the Sun-Reporter was born. With the massive migration of blacks to the Bay Area to work in the wartime shipyards, the sudden change in population made it clear that if blacks were to have a voice they had to have a newspaper, and the Sun-Reporter became that paper. First came The Reporter in 1944, founded and edited by Thomas C. Fleming, which soon merged with The Sun, a paper acquired in a poker game by Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, Fleming's longtime friend; and thus the Sun-Reporter was launched, with Goodlett as Editor/Publisher, Dr. Dan Collins as Co-Publisher, and Fleming as Managing Editor. In 1951 Goodlett became sole publisher, and in 1971 Dr. Goodlett added the seven Metro-Reporters and the California Voice to his publications.
Dr. Goodlett was born July 23, 1914 in
Besides being an outstanding physician, Dr. Goodlett capitalized on his early interest in journalism (as editor of the Hilltop, Howard University's student newspaper) by becoming publisher of The Sun-Reporter, a fighting, crusading newspaper designed to take on all the social and political battles raging in post-war America and proudly carrying the motto, ”That no good cause shall lack a champion, and that evil shall not thrive unopposed."
From its inception, and it holds true today, the Sun-Reporter has taken a strong editorial stand against racism, segregation, war and inequality while actively fighting for civil rights, fair employment and housing laws, and world peace; early on, it challenged school segregation; it denounced Senator Joseph McCarthy's assault on civil liberties in the days of the Cold War. Dr. Goodlett was in constant touch with Paul and Eslanda Robeson and was largely responsible for bringing Paul for a concert to
In 1963 the Sun-Reporter office was moved to Dr. Goodlett's new building on
In 1951 Dr. Goodlett joined the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Black Press of America, and served three terms as its president. He also served as chair of the California Black Leadership Council and as president of the
He became an active mover in the Democratic Party and in 1966 ran for Governor of California in the Democratic primaries, with Sy Cassidy, Dick Gregory and Rev. A. Cecil Williams as sidekicks in the Goodlett for Governor campaign. He ran under the motto, "The people are wise -- wiser than the politician thinks!" and with a platform demanding "an economic floor below which no one can fall!" He came in third in a field of six.
Dr. Goodlett was on the Presidium of the World Peace Council and traveled extensively to every continent during the days of the Cold War, heading American delegations to conferences in
Dr. Goodlett died of Parkinson's disease in l997 at the age of 82, but the Sun-Reporter, now published in Bayview/Hunter's Point with Amelia Ashley-Ward its Publisher, at the helm, is very much alive and is continuing in his footsteps.
Ashley-Ward, an award-winning journalist and photojournalist, is now celebrating her 30th year with the publishing company. Under her leadership the paper continues to win many awards and is also sought after by politicians seeking the African-American community’s support. She has taken the paper to another level by adding full color to the company’s printing press, enabling the Sun-Reporter to now be published in color. The printing press is also housed at the company’s Bayview location.
Ashley-Ward, 50, has received numerous awards, including “Publisher of the Year” in 1998 from the National Newspaper Publishers Association (The Black Press of America). On May 3, 2004, Ashley-Ward returned to
Publisher Ashley-Ward currently serves on the advisory board of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California and the board of directors of the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP. She formerly served on the board of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau.