Tribune Publisher to Attend Obama Swearing-in Ceremony


Shirley Barber James, Publisher of The Savannah Tribune, will be among the distinguished journalist to witness the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2009. The notice that she has been awarded official credentials for the event was received from the Inauguration Executive Committee of Periodical Correspondents.

After being notified of the selection, James said, “This is a tremendous honor for me and our publication.”

The Savannah Tribune, one of the oldest African-American-owned newspapers in the nation, has a proud and glorious heritage. Its history dates back to 1875, when three civic and business leaders recognized the need for a newspaper dedicated to serving the African-American community. Mrs. James has been publisher of The Tribune since 1983.

James is a Licensed Professional Counselor who retired in 2002 after 31 years of employment at Savannah State University where she served as a student affairs counselor, coordinator of the New Student and Parent Orientation programs, organizer of the Peer Counseling program, interim vice president for Student Affairs, and Director of Testing. She received the B.A. from Spelman College, Atlanta, GA, and the Ed. M. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA. James is serving her 8th term as coordinator of the Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival, a week-long event sponsored by the City of Savannah and Savannah State University. She is a member of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Board of Directors, and the Savannah – Hilton Head International Airport Board of Commissioners. James has served the Savannah community as a board member of many organizations including the Hodge Memorial Day Care Board of Managers, the Savannah Country Day School Board of Trustees, United Way of the Coastal Empire, the Ronald McDonald House, the Voluntary Action Center and SAFE Shelter in Savannah.

She has received many awards and recognitions including being a recipient of the prestigious Athena Award and the 2007 recipient of the Helen V. Head Small Business Advocate of the Year Award, both presented by the Savannah Chamber of Commerce; listing in The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American oral history video archive; listing in Ebony Magazine in 1995 and 1996 as one of “The 100 Most Influential Black Americans and Organization Leaders;” featured in Mentor Magazine, 1996; South Magazine, 2007, and recipient of the Tom Joyner “Hardest Working Chairman of the Savannah Black Heritage Festival” Award.

James served as the 15th National President of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated (1994-96), president of the National Executive Board of Sophisticates, Inc., and is also a member and past president of the Savannah Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Savannah Chapter of The Links, Inc., and the Savannah Sophisticates, respectively. She is a Sustainer with the Junior League of Savannah and is an active member and Senior Steward at St. Philip AME Church in Savannah. She and her husband, Robert, President of Carver State Bank, are the parents of three adult children, two of whom are married, and two grandchildren.

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