Jack Hudson was a newspaper man when it was a really tough business.  Not that it isn’t tough now, with newspapers failing it seems like every day.  But in the early 70s, there weren’t computers with fancy layout and design software.  There weren’t digital cameras and there wasn’t an internet or email.  In addition, it  was difficult to get White businesses to support a small Black community paper and small Black businesses didn’t have much money to advertise. 

Yes, in some ways things haven’t changed that much.  Despite the odds, Jack Hudson was a businessman who had a knack for making things work. 

Our editor, Bonita Gooch, was just 16 years old when she told Jack she was working on her high school newspaper.  He immediately put her to work on his newspaper, The Wichita Times.  As a businessman, Jack appreciated the cheap labor, but most of all he saw something in her that she probably didn’t see in herself. 

Bonita went on to college and majored in journalism and Jack stayed close to the newspaper business.  He married Verena Briley, a military nurse, and the two of them had a wonderful, but somewhat nomadic life, relocating from bases-to-base in support of Verena’s career.  In many of those locations, Jack would start a paper or work for one. 

In Wichita he published not only the Wichita Times, but the Aardvark Magazine and the Wichita Black Journal. He also published the Kansas Black Journal, which eventually changed to the Kansas Journal, as a way to attract White readers and advertisers.  Jack was a military veteran, and when the couple lived in Temple, TX, he  switched gears and published a newspaper for veterans, the Central Texas Veterans News.

When Bonita returned to Wichita 24 years after working for Jack and looking for something to do, faith would have it there was a Black newspaper for sale. 

“Based on the experience and knowledge I gained working with Jack, instead of running from the opportunity, I ran straight to it, and the rest is history,” said Bonita. 

Over the past 27 years, Jack served as a mentor to Bonita.  Retired and living near Las Vegas, NV, he remained an avid reader and long-term subscriber to The Community Voice. 

“ I knew for certain, he was very, very, proud of me and the publication.  He would tell me, ‘you’ve way surpassed me,’ and I would remind him of how hard it was back then.  I thank him to this day for giving me my start.  

Jack Hudson, newspaper man, veteran, husband of 44-years, father and grandfather died at age 92 on March 30.  In his honor, his wife has asked for donations to be given to help establish  an ongoing scholarship for aspiring Black journalists.  In addition, the funds will be used to establish a summer internship program at The Community Voice to further benefit the scholarship recipients.

Dr. LaVassa “Jack” Vallee Hudson

August 16, 1930-March 30, 2023

Newspaper Owner, Publisher, Editor, US Army and Air Force Veteran, husband of 44 years, father and granddad.  

Donations may be made in his honor to: The L.V. “Jack” Hudson Journalist Scholarship Award in care of The Community Voice Newspaper, attention Bonita Gooch, owner and editor-in-chief, P.O. Box 20804,  Wichita, KS 67208.  Contact (316) 681-1155. Email: Gooch@tcvpub.com

Cards or expressions of love and kindness can be sent to Verena Briley Hudson, 2721 Kildrummie St., Henderson, Nevada 89044.

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