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The Hilltop


Celebrating 100 Years as the Student Voice of Howard University 

From left, Hilltop managing editor N’dia Webb and editor-in-chief Jasper Smith hold the 2023 Freshman print edition of The Hilltop. (Photo courtesy of N’dia Webb)

Today, the nation’s oldest Black collegiate newspaper celebrates 100 years as the student voice of Howard University. 

When asked what it means for our publication to reach such a significant milestone, I often allude to our legacy as the first Black college paper to print daily or to our undeniable impact on Howard University’s campus. Flipping through the archives of this esteemed publication, I am enamored with the talent and dedication that shines through each page.

But what truly means the most to me as we celebrate such a momentous occasion is knowing that for 100 years, Hilltop journalists have committed themselves to a mission that is so much greater than each of us.  

As the editor-in-chief of this beloved publication, there are many late nights when I find myself in The Hilltop’s office working on the print layout, conducting interviews, sitting through meetings or editing what can feel like endless stories. It is a unique weight of responsibility that comes with leading this paper –  but it is not one that I carry alone. 

Amidst academic responsibilities, internships, Howard social events and our daily lives, for decades, The Hilltop staff has remained consistent in our commitment to chronicle the changing world around us – at Howard University and beyond. From registration errors in 1924, historic D.C. visits from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., numerous student protests, to the election of the nation’s first Black president – Hilltop journalists were present to ensure that our history was documented. 

The persistence of The Hilltop speaks to the importance of student journalism. At a time when the future of local journalism remains uncertain, student journalism has become an essential pillar in the fight against a growing information crisis. 

While the accomplishments of the Black collegiate press frequently go unnoticed in the larger discourse on the need for student journalism, the necessity and demand for reporting on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities can not be understated. 

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As we commemorate the centennial of The Hilltop, I hope that the next 100 years be filled with the same audacious spirit that was instilled in us by our founders, Zora Neale Hurston and Eugene King, in 1924. If you would like to assist The Hilltop in reaching additional milestones, please consider donating to our publication fund.

Happy Birthday, Hilltop!

In Truth and Service,

Jasper Smith

The Hilltop Editor-in-Chief 


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Copy edited by Alana Matthew


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