Mrs. Cloretta Blackmon (Torchbearer of Culture Award)
Publisher/CEO Mobile Beacon Newspaper
Mrs. Cleretta Thomas Blackmon is the Publisher/CEO of the Mobile Beacon, Alabama's oldest African-American Newspaper. The newspaper was founded June 1, 1943 by her parents Frank P. and Lancie M. Thomas and has never missed publishing an issue.
Ms. Blackmon received her B.S. Degree from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI where she majored in Business Administration and Psychology, with a minor in Journalism.
She lived in Detroit for many years and worked for the Department of Education, Social Security Disability before returning to Mobile in the 80s, to help operate her family newspaper. Ms. Blackmon is active in the National Newspaper Publishers Association, The Black Press of America, the Alabama Press Association and the National Newspaper Association. She has served on both NNPA and APA board of directors. She has served as pass treasurer of the (National) Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association and is presently serving as the Secretary of the NNPA (National Newspaper Publisher's Association).
She was vice-president of the Oakleigh Chapter of the American Business Women's Association for two terms, past Secretary of the NAACP, Treasurer of the local National Council of Negro Women, and served on the NNPA By-laws and Archives Committee. She currently serves on the Communication Committee of United Way and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. She has completed her 6th term as chair of the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama. She also serves on the Board of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission. She is listed in Who's Who Among Outstanding Persons in the Southeast. She is active in the Presbytery of South Alabama, Synod, Nationally and at her church, Hillsdale Presbyterian. She also sponsors a bowling league and has sponsored merchandise for Blount High School during football games.
The Beacons founders, Mr. Frank and Mrs. Lancie Thomas are inducted into NNPA's and APA's Hall of Honors. Mrs. Cleretta Thomas Blackmon has two children Hjordis and Merina Blackmon.
Congratulations to GRONA memebers on your 2011 GRONAFEST celebration.