Black Newspapers and America's War for Democracy, 1914-1920 by William G. Jordan

By William G. Jordan

In the course of international battle I, the publishers of America's crusading black newspapers confronted a tricky quandary. wouldn't it be larger to enhance the pursuits of African american citizens via putting forward their patriotism and providing aid of President Wilson's warfare for democracy in Europe, or may still they call for that the govt. take concrete steps to forestall the lynching, segregation, and disfranchisement of blacks at domestic as a situation in their participation within the conflict? This learn in their efforts to solve that challenge bargains vital insights into the character of black protest, race relatives, and the position of the clicking in a republican process. William Jordan indicates that prior to, in the course of, and after the battle, the black press engaged in a fragile and unsafe dance with the government and white America--at occasions making calls for or protecting enterprise, occasionally pledging loyalty, sometimes giving in. yet even though others have argued that the black press compromised an excessive amount of, Jordan demonstrates that, given the conditions, its strategic mixture of protest and lodging used to be remarkably potent. whereas resisting power threats of censorship, the black press regularly labored at teaching the United States concerning the want for racial justice.

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Led by Booker T. 19 Washington became influential in the South in the s and s. His  address at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition catapulted him into the national spotlight and made him the most visible black leader in the country. In that famous speech, Washington counseled survival through accommodation to rather than protest against the South’s system of white supremacy. He advised blacks to stop protesting for equality and civil rights and to focus instead on self-improvement and uplift, especially in the economic realm.

Moton, cooperated with the federal government by encouraging black participation in the war effort. Emmett Scott, Washington’s personal secretary, became special assistant on race relations to the secretary of war. The editors of the Pittsburgh Courier and the Norfolk Journal and Guide, which, like the Chicago Defender and the Baltimore Afro-American, would become major publications with mass national circulations in the s, also sought to assume leadership positions in their communities. Pittsburgh Courier publisher Robert L.

During Reconstruction, lynchers attacked both black and white Republicans as a means of political intimidation. 21 Contemporary apologists claimed that lynching of blacks was necessary to deter black criminals and especially rapists who, they alleged, preyed on white women in sparsely populated areas. 22 As black editors read their own headlines about southern mobs seizing African Americans who had been accused of some trivial breach of southern racial etiquette from poorly guarded jail cells and carrying them off to be hanged or shot or burned to death, they wondered how Americans could so passionately condemn Germany’s breaking of treaties with neutral countries or its breach of international laws of naval engagement while tolerating these increasingly bold and gruesome punishments of individuals denied fair trials here at home.

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