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The Nation’s Oldest: Celebrating 99 Years of The Hilltop

Current and former Hilltop staff at the Hilltop Alumni Open House on Oct. 21, 2022. Photo courtesy of Jasper Smith.

For nearly a century, The Hilltop has been committed to covering the lives of thousands of Howard University students, faculty and members of the surrounding community. Co-founded  by the legendary Zora Neale Hurston and Louis Eugene King on Jan. 22, 1924, The Hilltop has cemented itself in history as the first Black collegiate newspaper in the country– and proudly celebrates 99 years of dedicated coverage.  

As the Editor-in-Chief of this historic publication, I have spent many days in my office reflecting on The Hilltop’s legacy. I often find myself flipping through the pages of our archives, enthralled at the level of prestige, care and commitment that has gone into creating and maintaining this beloved publication. 

To me, The Hilltop is more than just a newspaper. To many of our current and former staff, it provides a sense of family, community and life-long friendship. For decades, The Hilltop has fostered an environment where students of all backgrounds can come together to practice ethical journalism, produce impactful stories and, most importantly, amplify the student voice of Howard University. 

This school year, The Hilltop has debuted our Investigative Team, who uncovered new details about the Blackburn Takeover protest, launched The HillTalks podcast and Multimedia section, successfully distributed two print editions at various campus and D.C. locations and produced more than 300 articles for our website. None of this could be done without the tireless work of our reporters, editors, business team, advisors, administrative liaison, network of supportive alumni and our readers. 

It is my hope that for the next 99 years The Hilltop continues to be a trailblazer, staple for the Black press and finds innovative ways to capture the essence of this university, just as our founders intended. 

For Zora. For Howard. For You. 

In truth and service, 

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Jasper Smith 

2022-2023 Editor-in-Chief 

Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett


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