Last issue of Lubbock’s Southwest Digest printed after 45 years

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 8:33 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A newspaper has been printed regularly to tell the stories of Lubbock’s black community since 1977, but its publisher, T.J. Patterson, said it was for all God’s people to read. Forty-five years later, the last printed issue has hit newsstands.

“It was an idea we had because in Lubbock there was an unfair representation, an inequitable opportunity for all citizens to tell their stories,” Patterson said. “We saw a need for that. Financially, we didn’t have the money to do it, but when you do things that are right, God will help you.”

Patterson said he and Eddie P. Richardson had $10 when they decided to publish Lubbock Digest.

“Money’s not the answer,” Patterson said. “It’s being able to utilize the knowledge that you have and to share that information with others. That’s what would make you become a millionaire. That’s what makes you rich, because you have contributed something that someone younger, small, black, white, or brown, may be able to utilize in their daily activities. That’s what it’s all about.”

Just a few years later it would become Southwest Digest as it covered a larger area.

“It was done for the black community, but we don’t care who read it,” Patterson said. “That’s what’s important. The world we’re in today, we get so busy. We forget about those have-not persons who don’t get the equitable treatment to participate in life. That’s why we do it. That’s what kept us going all these years.”

The Patterson family has decided, due to business and health reasons, the May 5 issue will be the last, for now.

“I can’t get around anymore,” Patterson said. “I can’t walk. I’ve been pretty ill.”

“I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” Patterson said. “We’re discontinuing the paper. I hope we planted some seeds where others will see what we have done and they too will do the same thing, hopefully.”

Patterson said if there was any hidden agenda it was to encourage young people to stay in school, learn all they can and to utilize the knowledge daily.

“We hope we’ve done something that makes sense,” Patterson said. “I can’t see around the corner but doggone-it we’re glad we were able to do something.”

Final issues of Southwest Digest can be found at United Supermarkets at 50th Street & Avenue Q, Parkway Drive or Amigos as well as 7-Eleven on Parkway Drive.

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