Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers


Black newspapers expressed a palpable sense of pride for the achievements of black youth. The black press’s efforts to praise the accomplishments of young black people stood in sharp contrast to the often racist coverage in mainstream white newspapers that focused on stories of juvenile delinquency. The pages of African-American newspapers presented black youth as agents in their own stories. Some young people were protesting inequality, like Claudette Colvin or the hundreds of thousands of students who boycotted school in New York City to protest segregation; while others gained notice for their academic achievements, like Darwin Turner, Mildred Kimble, Robert Crawford, and Welford Wilson. Black newspapers also valued young people as important parts of their distribution networks. Vernon Lee Holmes, a paper carrier for the Norfolk Journal and Guide, was one of the thousands of black kids who helped bring newspapers to their communities.  

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