Publisher and Philanthropist Hardy Brown Honored at State Senate

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In recognition of his work in the community and role in the California media industry, Senators Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and Connie Leyva, D-Chino, presented Black Voice News publisher and California Black Media co-founder Hardy Brown, Sr. with a Senate resolution on Monday.

“Hardy’s life story is an inspiring one,” said Morrell. “The Black Voice News is an important news outlet in our region and provides valuable insight to its readers every week. But as much as Hardy and his wife Cheryl are known for their contributions to the publishing industry they are also generous philanthropists. They do incredible work on behalf of kids and families in neighborhoods across the Inland Empire. We are fortunate to have them as leaders in our community.”

The son of North Carolina sharecroppers, Brown came to California in the 1960s and held various positions with Kaiser and the California Electric Company (now Southern California Edison). In 1980, he and his wife Cheryl, now an Assemblymember representing the 47th District, founded Brown Publishing Company to produce the Black Voice News, a newspaper focusing on local news in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Together, they have the distinction of being the only living publishers to be included in the 175th anniversary of the Black Press of America.

Brown is also founding President of California Black Media, a network of African-American media owners across California, which will meet in Sacramento this week during the annual conference of the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

“I’m truly humbled to be honored by Senators Mike Morrell and Connie Leyva during Black History Month, and am deeply appreciative of the graciousness displayed by the entire Senate body,” said Brown. “As the son of a poor sharecropper from North Carolina, I never imagined that I’d be here today in front of you all, partaking in the American Dream. Words cannot fully express my appreciation. Thank you to my family, friends, community and employers who all believed in me and supported me over the past 50 years. I’ve dedicated my life to community service. This honor is a strong testament to the power of God and what he can do with someone who believes in Him.”

Brown and his wife are active in the community through their Black Voice Foundation, which trains and educates individuals in print media and operates ongoing programs including the College Internship and Opportunity of a Lifetime programs, the Califest Studio Workshop, and the Footsteps to Freedom Study Tours. Last spring, he was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by California State University, San Bernardino in acknowledgement of his initiatives and achievements.

Hardy Brown is honored on the floor of the California State Senate. Included in this photo from left to right: (back row) son-in-law and Stockton City Manager Kurt Wilson, granddaughter Kennedy Wilson, brother Vince Brown; (middle row) daughter and California Black Media chair Regina Brown Wilson, wife Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino); (front row) Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Hardy Brown, and Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).