Atlanta, GA (October 7, 2022) – The Burton Wire, the premiere online destination for news and culture of the African Diaspora, will celebrate 10 years of elevating fact-based information, news and content covering people of African descent. The celebration, “A Black Diamond Affair,” will take place Friday, November 18, 2022 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The evening will honor trailblazers in African Diasporic art, media, culture, history and philanthropy. The event will be hosted by CNN Entertainment Reporter Lisa Respers France.
In honor of the 10th anniversary, The Burton Wire will relaunch The Burton Wiretap, a podcast covering news and culture of the African Diaspora. The first episode will feature The Burton Wire’s founder & editor-in-chief Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. in conversation with A Closer Look’s Rose Scott.
After a longtime career as a journalist and blogger at major media outlets and repeatedly hitting brick walls when pitching stories about diverse Black American, African and Caribbean populations across the globe, Dr. Burton decided to launch a digital-first publication to do just that – elevate important stories of the African Diaspora. Launched from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in September of 2012, Dr. Burton created an online destination for people of African descent living in the United States interested in news, culture and history of people of African descent living throughout the globe.
“I had the experience, contacts, skills and drive to make it happen. More importantly, I had the passion for telling the stories of people of African descent — in our voices. Standing on the shoulders of the historic Black Press, I launched The Burton Wire with a team of energetic writers and thinkers committed to covering people of African descent and the rest is history” says Burton.
Burton understood that not only was there a need for this type of coverage, but creating an online news site serving the African Diasporic population in the U.S. and abroad made good business sense so prior to launching Burton spent nearly 6 months conducting research to develop a business plan. “As a journalist and content creator I knew my judgment was sound,” offers Burton. “As a Ph.D. and media scholar, I also knew I had to research the market to make sure my idea was actually viable and was good business and good for our community.”
In 2013, Burton received the National Association of Black Journalists Ray Taliaferro Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for her business plan for The Burton Wire, which further validated Burton’s instincts and gave her funding to scale up and grow the business to create more original content and reach more people.
Over the last decade, The Burton Wire has elevated stories like the kidnapping of 200 Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria; the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia; the unjust incarceration of Kelley Williams-Bolar in Ohio; the untimely deaths of megachurch Pastor Myles Munro in the Virgin Islands and comedian David Arnold; the growth of tech and innovation labs in Uganda; the global fashion industries in Ghana, Addis Ababa, Tanzania and South Africa; the intersection of art and technology in Canada; the 2016 Olympics in Brazil; the Assassination of Brazilian activist Marielle Franco and the suspicious death of high school basketball player Kendrick Johnson. The Burton Wire has featured scores of change agents, trailblazers and celebrities from all corners of the globe.
In 2016, The Burton Wire became one of the first digital-first publications to join the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the oldest publishing trade association for African American newspapers in the nation. The Burton Wire is now distributed on NNPA’s Black Press USA Newswire, with content reaching over 22 million people in print monthly and nearly 2 million people online daily.
“What began as a passion project is officially a business,” states Burton. “I am still shocked when I meet someone and they say they read The Burton Wire because I never imagined this idea to fill a hole in news coverage would grow to this extent. Now I see so many major online news publications launching African Diasporic related verticals, and I know The Burton Wire had a little something to do with it,” she adds. “Yes, we are celebrating 10 years of creating content and influencing the direction of news coverage of the African Diaspora and honoring trailblazers along the way.”
The Burton Wire’s, “A Black Diamond Affair,” event will honor trailblazers who have made invaluable contributions to communities of African descent. The honorees are internationally renowned artist Steve Allen, journalist and educator James McJunkins, Sr., filmmaker and educator Dr. Herbert Eichelberger, civil rights activist and philanthropist Cheryl Lowery, Black comic book publishers, brothers Carlton and Darrick Hargro,, “Stroll to the Polls” creator and activist Maisha Land, African American historical archivists Jina DuVernay (Clark Atlanta University) and Dr. Clinton Fluker (Emory University) and groundbreaking filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper.
“It is a great honor for me to receive this special award. The Burton Wire began in 2012, and within weeks of its existence, The Burton Wire reviewed my first film. This Black woman-led media platform fights to ensure Black creators and their work receive visibility and critical regard through a lens that sees and understands the creators, the culture, and the community it serves,” offers awardee Riley Draper.
The Burton Wire’s, “A Black Diamond Affair,” will begin at 6 p.m. EST. The Black Diamond sponsors (highest-level) are Miranda Solomon and Charlotte Native Realty and The Burton Wire Media Group. Platinum sponsors include O & Company Designs, Funky Roots, The Atlanta Voice, Precise Communications and YY Square Consulting.
Tickets will be available via Eventbrite beginning Monday, October 17, 2022.