Richard E. Black, known by most as “Rich Black,” is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Florida’s oldest and most respected African-American lifestyle publication, ONYX Magazine. He served as the first Director of Diversity and adviser to billionaire Harris Rosen, President of Florida’s largest Independent hotel chain, Rosen hotels and Resort and played a pivotal role in the creation of Florida largest African-American award show, The ONYX Awards which celebrates the accomplishment and contributions of African-Americans and those of the African Diaspora.
Black also served as the brain child behind the creation of the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Monument and Centennial gardens which was unveiled on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University during their Centennial Celebration. With a keen ability to sale and market, Black was able to bring together such luminaries as Dr. Dorothy Height, President Emeritus, National Council of Negro Women, Lucille O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, The Honorable Kweisi Mfume, The Honorable Baron H. “Bud “ Asher, The Honorable Frederica Wilson, Harris Rosen, President, Rosen Hotels, Dr. Norma White, Past Supreme Bacillus, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, Past National President, Delta Sigma Theta, The Honorable Buddy Dyer to name a few. The project raised over $800,000 in a year’s time to meet its unveiling date in 2004
Rich Black’s commitment to sharing and preserving the history of African-Americans and bridging racial divides can be viewed in his leadership provided during the Central Florida community’s dismay when it was discovered that the regions largest historical museum, the Orange County Regional Museum left out the African-American exhibit of the museum during the opening ceremonies of the museum. It was communicated that the museum did not include an African-American exhibit because they could not secure the history from the community. Rich Black engaged in conversation with the museum and a $100,000 budget was secured to fund the exhibit. He also speared headed a committee of community leaders and historians to secure artifacts and historical information to be included in the exhibit entitled “How distant seem our starting place.” A poem written by James Weldon Johnson.
Black also serves as the business manager for the Original Florida Hall of Fame Highwaymen, a group of very talented African-American Artists from Fort Pierce, Florida who rose above segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the south to national prominence as artist. They were inducted into The Florida Hall of fame in 2004 and currently a movie is in the making on their life and struggles. Their art, which includes the trademark Poinciana Tree, can now be viewed in Florida‘s State Capitol, the White house and beyond. Black’s goal for the group is to have them included in the Smithsonian African-American museum and named Florida’s Art Ambassadors.
Black holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethune-Cookman University. He is a life member of the Bethune-Cookman Alumni Association, Inc., Life member of the NAACP and resides in Orlando, Florida.