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Amelia Ashley-Ward

Newspaper publisher, editor and journalist Amelia Ashley-Ward was born on September 17, 1957 in Magnolia, Mississippi to Amile Ashley and Louise James Ashley. While still a child, Ashley-Ward’s family moved to San Francisco, where she attended junior high and high school. Ashley-Ward went on to receive her B.A. degree in journalism and photojournalism in 1979 from San Jose State University.

During her final year at San Jose State University, Ashley-Ward interned at the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company in San Francisco, where she was hired as a reporter and photojournalist for the Sun-Reporter newspaper in 1979. Then, in 1984, Ashley-Ward was promoted to managing editor of the Sun-Reporter. When the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company’s publisher Carlton Goodlett resigned in 1994, Ashley-Ward was promoted to publisher. While working at the Sun-Reporter, she also published photographs in People magazine and Jet magazine, and wrote a feature story for the African American magazine Sepia. Following Goodlett’s death in 1997, she bought the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company from Goodlett’s son, acquiring all three of the company’s newspapers: the California Voice, the Metro and the Sun-Reporter. Ashley-Ward also created the nonprofit Sun-Reporter Foundation in 2004, and was the founding president of the Young Adult Christian Movement.

Ashley-Ward has received many honors and awards while working at the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company. In 1980, she won the Photojournalism Award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and, in 1981, she received the Feature Writing Award from the same organization. The National Newspaper Publishers Association granted Ashley-Ward one more honor when, in 1998, she was elected Publisher of the Year. In 1997, she received the Woman of the Year award from the San Francisco Black Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, Ashley-Ward received the Alumnus of the Year award from San Jose State University, and was the commencement speaker for the university's Journalism department that same year. She was also honored in 2005, when she was selected as Woman of the Year by California State Senator Carole Migden. In 2008, Ashley-Ward was named one of the forty nine Most Influential People in San Francisco by 7x7 Magazine. She also served on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the San Francisco branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Ashley-Ward has one son, Evan Carlton Ward, an electronic media major at Middle Tennessee State University.

Amelia Ashley-Ward was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.251

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/4/2013

Last Name

Ashley-Ward

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

San Jose State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Amelia

Birth City, State, Country

Magnolia

HM ID

ASH03

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

It Must Be Borne In Mind That The Tragedy Of Life Doesn't Lie In Not Reaching Your Goal. The Tragedy Lies In Having No Goal To Reach.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/17/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Fish

Short Description

Newspaper publishing chief executive Amelia Ashley-Ward (1957 - ) has worked at the Sun-Reporter for over thirty years. She now owns the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company.

Employment

Sun-Reporter

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amelia Ashley-Ward's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes how racial tensions in Mississippi forced her relatives to leave the state

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes the living conditions in San Francisco when her family first moved to California

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward reflects upon her parents' marriage and how they first met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her two sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward explains why her father left Mississippi for California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Amelia Ashley-Ward explains the role of the church in her life and activism

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recounts living in Hunter's Point, the Fillmore, and Ingleside in San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death on the black community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls a personal experience with racial hatred from her youth, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls a personal experience with racial hatred from her youth, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about creative writing as a favorite childhood pastime

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls her early writing influences in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers living in poverty after her father left the family

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about helping her mother financially in high school and the type of student she became in college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her awareness of black consciousness and sub-culture in San Francisco, California in the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her experiences in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her experiences at San Jose State University in the late 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about famous individuals and entertainment venues that were well known in the black community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes the racial makeup at San Jose State University and the prevalent party culture of the late 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her experiences with racism and sexism at San Jose State University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls an experience with the People's Temple cult and Jim Jones in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes Jim Jones' impact on the black community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward compares San Francisco Reverend Thomas McCall to Jim Jones

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about Dr. Carlton's Goodlett's connection to Jim Jones

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls being hired at the Sun-Reporter

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward gives a history of the Sun-Reporter's founders Tom Fleming (also a HistoryMaker) and Dr. Carlton Goodlett

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her close personal relationship with Dr. Carlton Goodlett

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers tension with fellow staff during her early days at the Sun-Reporter, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers tension during her early days at the Sun-Reporter, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the sensationalist tactics previously used by the Sun-Reporter

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about Dr. Carlton Goodlett's influence in the San Francisco black community

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers some of her favorite stories she has written over the years

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes two different photo-essays from her career in Mississippi and California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the death of Chauncey Bailey, a journalist in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her rise in the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company and how she acquired the company and its associated newspapers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the implications of digital media for the newspaper industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the purpose of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and its history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward explains the differences between the National Newspapers Association and the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the status of black newspapers in America and the Sun-Reporter's advertising revenue

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the journalistic philosophy of the Sun-Reporter Publishing Group

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward reflects on her career and assisting in the 2013 election London Breed, San Francisco District Supervisor

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward states that her mother Louise James Ashley encouraged her to fight against injustice

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about choosing to stay with black newspapers over the mainstream media and fighting against injustice

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her son Evan's football career at Middle Tennessee State and the politics associated with college sports

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about how she would like to be remembered