Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letter from the Editor: A Moment of Transparency… What’s the Future of BK Reader?

BK Reader is Transitioning: Come Grow With Us!
Mark Greaves, co-founder of Our Time Press, C. Zawadi Morris, founder of BK Reader and Reginald Richardson (my husband) celebrating my achievement of receiving the Brooklyn NAACP Centennial Award for BK Reader in 2022.

Dear BK Readers,

Allow me to reintroduce myself: My name is C. Zawadi Morris. 

I am the founder of BK Reader. I’m from Chicago originally. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the better part of my life (25+ years). I love cats, my husband, plants, cooking, dancing, traveling and writing near large bodies of water. And oh, let me not forget: My mother is my compass and a whole queen!

Why am I sharing this? Because BK Reader just celebrated turning ten years old, and someone I know and respect in the business suggested I reintroduce myself. You know… open up a bit more.

Ten years is a huge milestone, because news organizations around the country– no, the world–  are closing at light speed, for several reasons that you can read about here and here. But BK Reader has endured! I bootstrapped this business 10 years ago with $1,200 and a handful of ads from the local small businesses that believed in what I was trying to do.

And because we've never charged our readers in the ten years of operation, all I've had to continually fuel BK Reader has been an unwillingness to give up (and a husband who has stepped in financially more times than I can count). And you, my community. The love I have of my community fuels me every day.

Still, for years, I’ve been told that for BK Reader to be successful and "go viral" in this age of social media, readers would need to feel connected to me and my mission. In other words, showcasing my persona was as important as “my product.”

But for many years, I didn’t see it. I grew up in an era without the Internet or cell phones or social media. I grew during a time when success was achieved purely through grit, the quality of your work and the demand for your product. Plus, I prefer to be that person in the background building behind the scenes.

But, this is where we are now: in a “first tell me who you are” culture. So, here I am: A Black woman from the South Side of Chicago who grew up part of her childhood in the projects, and the other part in the affluent suburbs and who always enjoyed reading and writing; whose family was part of the Great Northern Migration from Mississippi to Illinois during the 1940s; whose great grandparents housed one of the CORE workers (Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner) the evening before they were murdered by the KKK; whose father was incarcerated most of her childhood for his heavy involvement in the Black Liberation movement of the 70s; and whose mother, like most Black mothers, did everything she could to give her children the skills, self-esteem and opportunities to achieve a better life than the one she experienced.

My mother and me (l to r) at 6 years old. We're twins! Photo: C. Zawadi Morris

Growing up Black in this country is significant, because it is about as American as you’re gonna get. Black people experience with our entire chest all the things that both drive us and also ail us as Americans, full stop. Leadership from the Black perspective is a gift. It moves the needle, because it is a perspective that is multifaceted, unfiltered and expansive.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to change the media narrative to one that is balanced and represents all voices with accuracy and compassion. So the fact that BK Reader is the first Black-owned, woman-owned local daily news source in New York City is no accident. I planned this from childhood. I’ve worked hard on this. And when I work, I think about you– all of you– every single day.

You are the reason why BK Reader has brought professionally reported news about your borough– one that aims to improve your lives– every single day for the past ten years! ​

.A young BK Reader and dreamer! Photo: C. Zawadi Morris

We’ve done all of this for a decade for you and for free!! But BK Reader does not run on air. What it takes to keep a daily news site going requires more than oxygen. It requires support.

And now, after a full decade, I’m so excited to announce that BK Reader is transitioning. And we’re inviting all of you to join us on this next leg of our journey!

  • Maybe you’ve seen that we’ve left Twitter (X). But we’re now on Threads, so please join us here
  • We have a brand-new managing editor. Her name is Kaya Laterman ( Feel free to send her all of your news tips and announcements. We have a fresh team of writers, smart, enterprising and ready to report all the news that matters to you!
  • We are reviving our Bklyn Sauce video series, where we showcase the people, places and organizations that lend to Brooklyn alllll the sauce
  • We are creating a library of information on Brooklyn’s 37 primary neighborhoods with our Neighborhood Profile series, which you can find on our homepage (so need for Wikipedia to get the scoop on your nabe!)
  • And have you checked out our new “Best of Brooklyn” series, where you can find the Top-5 pizzerias, ice cream shops, dog parks– everything you need to know about Brooklyn?
  • Soon, you can expect to see our first data journalism project, an in-depth data-driven report with charts and visualizations that examines the housing crisis in our borough.
  • And stay tuned for the announcement of our new YouTube channel with all of our Brooklyn local video content all in one place

And finally (and this is a big one), in the next six months, we’ll be announcing a special surprise– a rollout of something we cannot yet confirm. Okay, here’s a hint: It rhymes with flexmansion. lolol

So, there you have it: A little bit more about me. And a lotta bit more about BK Reader and where it’s going. 

We’re all in, and we want you to be all in too! Please join us. Please support us through donations. Please advertise with us. Follow us here on Facebook, Instagram and Threads. Please share our posts, and spread the word! (And feel free to follow me on the Gram here.)

Because at the end of the day, BK Reader really is not about me nor my dream. It is about making sure Brooklyn Readers can be independent thinkers, doers and themselves, be dreamers too.


C. Zawadi Morris

C. Zawadi Morris

About the Author: C. Zawadi Morris

C. Zawadi Morris is an award-winning journalist and a Chicago native who moved to Brooklyn in 1997.
Read more