Black newspaper publisher Mary Alice Jervay Thatch, 78, dies

Dec 29, 2021, 3:13 PM | Updated: 3:57 pm

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mary Alice Jervay Thatch, the third-generation editor and publisher of a historic Black newspaper in North Carolina and a driving force behind the pardons of the Wilmington 10, has died. She was 78.

Thatch died Tuesday at Duke University Hospital in Durham, but a cause of death was not available, according to her cousin, Paul R. Jervay Jr., who considered her a “human dynamo.”

Thatch was the daughter of Thomas C. Jervay Sr., the publisher of The Wilmington Journal. Her grandfather, printer R.S. Jervay, started the newspaper as the Cape Fear Journal in 1927, decades after a mob of white supremacists burned The Daily Record, the African American newspaper, to the ground in the 1898 Wilmington Massacre.

Thatch’s father was an activist-journalist with his “heart and soul” devoted to the community, Jervay said Wednesday. Thatch carried on her father’s legacy when she succeeded him in 1996. She took on the fight for pardons for the Wilmington 10, nine Black men and one white woman wrongly convicted for the 1971 firebombing of a grocery store.

In 2012, outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue issued pardons of innocence for the group. Thatch, who had urged the National Newspaper Publishers Association to advocate for the pardons, was named the organization’s journalist of the year in 2013.

“We will always fervently uphold her legacy and contribution to the Black Press of America and especially her leadership of the North Carolina Black Press Association (NCBPA). God bless,” Ben Chavis, one of the Wilmington 10 and now NNPA president, said in a statement.

The pardons were Thatch’s major accomplishment on the national stage, but on the local level, she made the newspaper a reflection of Wilmington’s African American community.

“She had a knack for organization toward a purpose,” Jervay said.

Thatch was the president of the North Carolina Black Publishers Association at the time of her death and her “energy and foresight” made that organization what it is today, said Jervay, who handles media services for the NCBPA.

To her family, she was welcoming, even when you found yourself in an unfortunate situation.

“She was always glad to see you, regardless of where you were in life,” Jervay said. “She was the first one there to help. She was totally family oriented.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Coroner: Central Illinois plane crash killed Santa Fe couple

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A coroner Monday identified a Santa Fe, New Mexico, couple as the two people killed when a single-engine plane crashed on a roadway in central Illinois. Killed in the crash Saturday in the small community of Hanna City were 75-year-old pilot James Everson and 67-year-old Lisa Evanson, Peoria County Coroner Jamie […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Medical investigator rules Baldwin set shooting an accident

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin last year was an accident, according to a determination made by New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator following the completion of an autopsy and a review of law enforcement reports. The medical investigator’s report was made public Monday by […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, smiles as he plays bridge following ...
Associated Press

Buffett’s firm buys more Apple, Amazon while betting on oil

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company bet more on high-tech darling Apple and e-commerce giant Amazon during the second quarter, while also investing billions in old-school oil producers Occidental Petroleum and Chevron. Berkshire Hathaway detailed all its second-quarter investments Monday in a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wall Street follows Berkshire’s […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Burgum aims to allow pledge recitation at meetings, schools

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday he’ll work with legislators on a bill next session to “guarantee that the opportunity exists” for students and elected governing bodies to say the Pledge of Allegiance, if they choose. The Republican governor’s announcement comes after the Fargo School Board last week announced plans to stop […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

California man jailed after sharp sound, Vegas airport panic

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A California man jailed in Las Vegas on suspicion of causing a loud noise that sparked panic and travel delays Sunday at Harry Reid International Airport had been arrested at the airport less than 24 hours earlier for allegedly causing a disturbance near a ticket counter, a police official said Monday. […]
16 hours ago
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the County of Los Angeles, incoming Los Angeles Count...
Associated Press

Recall election aimed at LA prosecutor fails to make ballot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A high-profile attempt to recall a progressive district attorney in the nation’s most populous county has failed, after organizers were unable to collect sufficient, valid petition signatures to place the proposal before voters, election officials said Monday. In a region that has seen rising crime rates and brazen smash-and-grab robberies and […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Black newspaper publisher Mary Alice Jervay Thatch, 78, dies