Patricia Humphries-Fann and the Suspension Press by K. A. Simpson

All my life, I’ve read, watched or listened to some type of news. I’m serious. Some of my earliest memories are listening to public radio on the way to grade school in the 80’s. Let alone the nightly ritual of watching the local evening news with folks like Norma Rasheed Jerry Springer (yes, he was a local Cincinnati news broadcaster before he was a national sensation). This, of course, was immediately followed by the national evening news with either Dan Rather or Connie Chung hunkered down behind that massive news desk. 

So I have the utmost respect for journalists and their work. But I do have a special place in my heart for those independent news sources that keep their nose to the grindstone, making sure that those hard-to-get stories see the light of day. 

Independent reporting has been strong here in Northern Kentucky for over a decade. The area’s recently folded River City and Fort Thomas Matters coupled with other local independent news outlets like the NKY Tribune, NKY Thrives and Link NKY are all testaments to the strength of Northern Kentucky’s independent news outlets. 

But there was one independent news outlet that led the way for all the aforementioned decades ago, even amongst the Post and Enquirer conglomerates…and there was a Northern Kentucky African American woman at the helm. 

Patricia Humphries-Fann owned and operated Suspension Press In 1982, she founded the Suspension Press, a Northern Kentucky newspaper organization. Six months later, she aired the first episode of the cable television show Suspension Press Presents. The newspaper published for 9 years.

Before Suspension Press, Fann began writing, and freelancing for the likes of NIP Magazine, the Kentucky Enquirer and the Louisville Defender. I’m her reporting, Fann weaponized her words to bring about progressive change and social justice in the world.

In doing research for my next fiction novel, Moon Song, which is set in the late 1980’s in Covington’s Eastside neighborhood, I’ve had the opportunity of reading old issues of SS which can still be accessed on microfilm at the Covington branch of the Kenton County Public Library. 

Reading those issues I found out that Fann was way ahead of her time, telling the region that Black Lives Matter decades before the movement, becoming one of our region’s original social disruptors. 


K.A. Simpson

Author, Founder, Chief Imagination Officer
SparkLight Creative Group
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