Afro Publisher to be Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award at BWS REUNION, Dec. 9th

(BALTIMORE – December 1, 2021) – presents The Black Wall Street REUNION: 10th Anniversary Benefit on Thursday, December 9, 2021 from 7 to 9 pm at Darker Than Blue Grille, 413 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. RSVP to

The event will feature, as always, the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards where we celebrate Black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race. Honorees include Dr. Frances Draper, Afro-American Newspapers Chairman and Publisher.

This is the 10th anniversary of these awards. To date, we have recognized nearly 1,800 Black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race in over a dozen US cities. The aim is to help preserve little-known Black Wall Street history and to help encourage entrepreneurship, beginning in the Black community.

Who is Dr. Draper?

Chairman, Publisher
AFRO-American Newspapers

Dr. Frances Murphy Draper has been an influential community leader in her native Baltimore for decades, with leadership positions in journalism, a church she founded and education.

In February 2018, Draper was named chairman of the board and publisher of the AFRO-American Newspapers, which was founded in 1892 by her great-grandfather. She was president of the company from 1987 to 1999.

“The AFRO has been at the forefront of the ever-changing media landscape for 129 years,” she told a local news outlet recently.  “Today, we offer a wide variety of platforms to get the word out, including a robust array of social media products. However, our basic mission of championing our people, our causes, our hopes, dreams, and aspirations are likely stronger than ever. Black lives have always mattered and continue to matter to us.”

In 2002, Draper became the founding pastor of the Freedom Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in south Baltimore.

Dr. Draper received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language education from Morgan State University and was on the university’s Board of Regents for 25 years before stepping down in 2020. Draper also has master’s degrees in education (Johns Hopkins University), business administration (University of Baltimore), and pastoral counseling (Loyola University Maryland). In 2006, she received a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching and leadership from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and is an overseer for a mega-church in Baltimore.

Dr. Draper said her mother, Frances L. Murphy II, helped inspire her to be a community leader. “She encouraged me to honor God, treat people the way you want to be treated and surround yourself with younger people who can keep you up to date on the latest trends and technologies.”

Now it’s Dr. Draper’s turn to inspire the younger generation. “I tell them it’s important to give back to your community because many people need a genuine hand up in order to survive and thrive,” she said. “When people are healthy economically, socially, and spiritually, communities are healthy.”

A sought-after speaker and author of two books, Dr. Draper serves on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association, the Y of Central Maryland, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Baltimore City), the Advisory Board of Results Baltimore and is a founding member of Word in Black ( In addition, she is a member of the Executive Alliance and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a national public service sorority co-founded by her grandmother, Vashti Turley Murphy in 1913.

Dr. Draper and her husband, Andre, have been married for more than 40 years and have four adult children and 12 grandchildren.