Our Story – Why BlackmansStreet.Today
BlackmansStreet.Today, a bi-weekly online newspaper reporting on issues affecting men in the black community, draws inspiration from “The North Star”, a black-owned anti-slavery newspaper founded by Frederick Douglass in 1847. BlackmansStreet.Today continues to honor Frederick Douglass and his courage.
“I founded BlackmansStreet.Today because black men should have a balanced image of themselves, not the overwhelmingly distorted ones that abound and are so easily accepted.”
Founder and Editor, Frederick H. Lowe
Currently, our mission is to provide and analyze important issues without the standard negative portrayal of black men in today’s news coverage. The articles will inform black men about education, health, finance, social justice and politics so they can act, not just react, in a complex and changing environment.
I was raised in Tacoma, Wash., and I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Washington in Seattle. I am married to Susan M. Miller, a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Chicago. I have two sons from previous marriages, Joel Patrick and Frederick.
My over 30 years of experience working for notable publications has helped me become a better writer, reporter and editor. But my biggest life-changing experience occurred in 1972, shortly after I graduated from the University of Washington.
I was working as a reporter for the New Pittsburgh Courier, an African-owned weekly newspaper. I was walking to a concert at Carnegie-Mellon University, which was near my apartment building, when I was arrested and severely beaten by Pittsburgh police officers. One of the cops screamed, “I hate you niggers,” as he kicked me with his boots and beat me with his fists
The cops charged me with numerous crimes, but it wasn’t until my court date that I learned police had arrested me as a burglary suspect.
Since I only had lived in Pittsburgh a month, I did not know how to find the street where the burglary occurred, but that did not matter to the cops because they were determined to make me a criminal.
The Pittsburgh Courier hired a lawyer, and he obtained the arrest report which provided an insight into the cops’ thinking. The alleged suspect and I were both black men, but that’s where the similarities ended. The alleged suspect weighed 250; I weighed 170. The alleged suspect was 5 feet 5 inches tall; I am 5 feet 11 inches tall. The attitude of the police was any black man would do.’
The judge dropped the charges, but the experience of the arrest and the beating has stayed with me all of these years. It is re-stimulated every time The NorthStar News& Analysis publishes articles about black men who have spent their most-productive years in prison only to be released from decades of incarceration after DNA evidence proved they were wrongfully convicted.
Admittedly, my approach to this subject is based on a terrible experience. Years later, I realize my early experience is an accepted demonization of black men as criminals and all of the negative traits that implies.
I founded The NorthStar News & Analysis after working as a reporter and a writer for three major daily newspapers and an editor of three- trade publications that report on the payments industry.
Lowe was a police, general assignment and investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune for 8 years, a general assignment reporter and a business writer for Philadelphia Daily News for 9 years, and a business writer for the Chicago Sun-Times for 8 years. He has also worked as a freelance journalist, writer, and editor for several publications, including SourceMedia, a publisher of trade magazines; Cardline, a daily online newspaper that covers the payments industry; ATM&Debit News, a weekly publication about ATM and debit card industries; and ATMmarketplace.com.
Founder and Editor
Susan M. Miller