I am writing this week’s column with a heavy heart. My condolences go out to my great friend Garth Reeves on the passing of his beloved daughter Rachel, who became publisher of the world-famous Miami Times newspaper.
If you don’t know, Garth Reeves was the very first person to recognize and subscribe to The Gantt Report.
In the 1980s, after leaving a position at Florida State University, a White political client urged me to start the Report, which was a measly four-page newsletter modeled after the Kiplinger Report.
TGR was more expensive then than most Black newspapers are priced now. The tiny newsletter was priced at $50 a month, but Garth purchased the first subscription and afterwards published TGR every week in his newspaper.
Today, many, if not most, of The Gantt Report’s most fervent followers are from the MiamiSouth Florida area.
A different direction
Just like my kids and yours, our children are not quite like us. Garth wanted his readers to be informed; Rachel focused a lot on advertising and took the Times to an unprecedented status of a high money-making media institution.
When other papers began to carry TGR statewide in Florida, Rachel decided to stop running The Gantt Report in the Times. But she and I continued to work on issues of concern to both of us. We had no beef.
I pray that God will lift up Garth Reeves in his time of sorrow. I don’t know a single parent that has any joy when he or she has to bury a child. Garth has had to attend funerals for a son and daughter!
I want Garth to know his spirit and the spirit of his children will live on in The Gantt Report and in all of the many, many people that love him, love The Miami Times and loved both of his children that have taken their final journeys to The Land of Plenty!
An honored history
Young people who get their news from social media like Facebook and Twitter should recognize and honor Black media elders and pioneers.
Once upon a time, most Black households had copies of Jet, Ebony, The Negro World, The Pittsburgh Courier, The Atlanta World, The Chicago Defender and other media sources like The Miami Times in their homes, because no one could or would plead our causes and tell our stories like the Black Press!
Garth, be proud your children and grandchildren carried on, extended and solidified your legacy.
In fact, most Black newspaper publishers of today didn’t create the newspapers and broadcast stations they operate. They inherited the companies from mom and dad.
My kids love me, but they would never write a Gantt Report column or be a lobbyist or political consultant at All World Consultants.
My daughter Sonja told me, “Daddy I have my own dreams,” and I was fine with that.
I’m one of your “sons,” Garth Reeves. I love you.