IN MEMORIAM:  Kenneth W. Edmonds, Carolina Times publisher dies at age 66

Photo courtesy of Spectacular Magazine

IN MEMORIAM:  Kenneth W. Edmonds, Carolina Times publisher dies at age 66
May 14
00:20 2020

By The North Carolina Black Publishers Association

DURHAM, NC — Kenneth William Edmonds, Editor-Publisher of The Carolina Times, died on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at the age of 66. 

Born on Dec. 5, 1953 to the late educator, Woodrow “Woody” W. Edmonds, and educator and editor, Vivian L. Austin Edmonds, Kenneth leaves to cherish his memories his loving and devoted son, Christian Edwards, and cousins, Bernard Austin and Vivian Austin.

Kenneth held numerous positions at the paper, including selling newspapers outside the office and later in the neighborhoods, which gave him keen insights into the lives of those featured weekly in “The Times.” He progressed at the paper, and his first writing assignment was writing obituaries and, eventually editorials. His photography also graced the newspaper and, eventually, he began laying out the paper and exploring the business side of the profession.

He was succeeded as publisher by his daughter, Mrs. Vivian Edmonds. She carried on the tradition of publicizing racial inequities and fighting for racial equality in North Carolina and throughout the United States. Austin’s grandson, Kenneth Edmonds, became Editor-Publisher at his mother’s retirement and continued the legacy of printing “The Truth Unbridled,” which is the newspaper’s motto.

Kenneth brought the newspaper into the age of digital technology and ushered in an era of a new relevance to the publication with the inclusion of national wire service stories, and the incorporation of color photography within the pages of The Carolina Times. 

The Carolina Times, under Mr. Edmonds, continued its membership in the National Newspaper Publishers Association, as well as the North Carolina Black Publishers Association. Even though his responsibilities at “The Times” were pressing, he still accepted the position of Treasurer of the North Carolina Black Publishers Association, a position he handled admirably at the time of his death.

He was also a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and enjoyed fellowship with St. Joseph’s African Methodist Episcopal Church since his childhood.

 “Although considered soft spoken by some, Kenneth William Edmonds, had a way of making a point that got the attention of everyone in the room. His carefully thought out points were a significant voice in the direction for Black Newspapers in North Carolina,” said Paul R. Jervay, Jr., NCBPA Media Services Specialist, who often conversed with Edmonds regarding issues, as well as advertising concerns from around the state.

 “It is difficult to sum up the life, legacy and work of Kenneth W. Edmonds. However, we are comforted by the exemplary life of this servant leader, who leaves behind a legacy of excellence that can never be undone. He will be genuinely missed, but his spirit will live on today and forever,” concluded NCBPA President, Mary Alice Jervay Thatch.

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