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T I M E L I N E Significant Dates in the History of African American Journalists 1827 Freedom’s Journal, the nation’s first black newspaper, is launched in New York City by the Reverend Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm. 1833 The New York Sun, the first successful Penny Press newspaper, ushers in mass media in the United States. The publisher, Benjamin Day, is pro-slavery. 1847 Willis Hodges, an African American, and Thomas van Rensselaer publish The Ram’s Head after New York Sun editors tell Hodges that the Sun does not shine for black people. Frederick Douglass begins publishing The North Star in Rochester, New York. 1864 The New Orleans Tribune, printed in both English and French, becomes the first black daily newspaper in the United States. Thomas Morris Chester becomes the first black correspondent for a major daily newspaper when he is hired as a Civil War correspondent for the Philadelphia Press. 1889 Henry O. Flipper, the first black to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, becomes the first black editor of a white-owned newspaper, the Arizona Sunday Herald.| xxiii | Political cartoonist Henry J. Lewis, whose work had already been featured in Harper’s Weekly, joins the staff of the Indianapolis Freeman. 1890 The U.S. Census records 310 black journalists in the United States. 1892 Ida B. Wells flees Memphis after the office where she published Free Speech is destroyed because of her crusade against the lynching of black men. 1900 Booker T. Washington, the nation’s most prominent African American, secretly subsidizes several black newspapers and promotes accommodation to Jim Crow. 1901 William Monroe Trotter, a black Harvard graduate, begins publishing the Guardian, which challenges Washington’s accommodationist stance. He edits the paper until his death in 1934. 1902 Lester Walton is hired to cover general news and sports for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, a mainstream daily, and, in 1906, The Star Sayings, which became the St. Louis Star. 1905 Robert S. Abbott founds the Chicago Defender, which, by 1915, has a weekly circulation of 230,000. 1910 W. E. B. DuBois becomes editor of The Crisis, the NAACP magazine, which for more than two decades was a leading black journal. 1922 Lester Walton is commissioned to write a series of articles for the New York World, which soon after hires him as a staff reporter . He later joins the New York Herald Tribune staff. 1936 Ted Poston becomes a staff reporter at the New York Post. 1941 Earl Brown, a contributing writer to Time magazine and editor of the Amsterdam News, is hired as a staff writer at Life magazine. 1943 The National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group comTimeline | xxiv | prised of black newspaper publishers, is founded, with John Sengstacke as its first president. 1944 Harry S. McAlpin becomes the first black admitted to White House press conferences as a White House correspondent for the National Negro Press Association and the Atlanta Daily World. 1945 John H. Johnson launches Johnson Publishing, which becomes the most successful black publishing enterprise in the world with the success of Jet, Ebony, and Black World. The black press reaches its zenith, with circulation at the Chicago Defender, 257,000; the Pittsburgh Courier, 202,000; and the Baltimore Afro-American, 137,000. 1947 The Negro Newspaper Publishers Association and individual black news correspondents are accredited to the Congressional Press Galleries and the State Department. 1949 WERD in Atlanta becomes the first black-owned commercial radio station in the United States. 1950 Marvel Jackson Cooke becomes the first full-time black woman reporter for a mainstream daily, the Daily Compass. 1955 The NAACP files a lawsuit against Mississippi station WLBTTV , charging that it deliberately cut off a network program in which Thurgood Marshall appeared by flashing a screen that said “Sorry, Cable Trouble.” 1958 Louis Emanuel Lomax becomes the first black television newscaster , for WNTA-TV in New York City. 1962 Mal Goode becomes the first black network television correspondent when he is hired by ABC-TV and covers the Cuban missile crisis. He becomes the first black member of the National Association of Radio and Television News Directors in 1971. 1965 First court ruling to revoke WLBT-TV’s license after a lawsuit by the United Church of Christ on behalf of Jackson, Timeline| xxv | Mississippi’s African American community, whom the church contended was not being fairly represented. 1968 The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, impaneled by President Johnson in...


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