Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

May 4, 1957

Guest post by Charles Zazzera, undergraduate student at Manhattan College.

“King Speaks Friday at Rally at Theresa” was an article that surprised me in many ways. To start off, I never really heard of or learned in school about Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to crowds in New York City. Also, I never knew that King’s smaller rallies still attracted congressmen to come as well. I found it interesting that the New York Amsterdam News only estimated 5,000 people to listen to King speak with a congressmen coming as well. This definitely connects to the March on Washington that I learned growing up. The article touched upon the march many times and showed how much support King had from ordinary citizens (click to view article PDF).

While this article was short, it spoke volumes of what the people in Harlem thought of the March on Washington and the movement itself. They were behind King one hundred percent and wanted to see him succeed in his endeavors. Also, this article shows how strong the movement was. In goes off on a little tangent about how a congressmen called for President Eisenhower to get fully behind the march and support it.

Before reading this article, my exposure to African-American newspapers was limited at best. I had one assignment in high school to look up the Little Rock Nine through a traditionally African-American newspaper. What this assignment did for me was expose me to how diverse the African-American printing community really is and how deep it goes. For example, the New York Amsterdam News has existed since 1922, and I did not hear about it until this week!

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