May. 4, 2020
The Black Blogger, A Quarter and A Dream, The Chicago Defender, 115 Years Old Today
The Blackman Who Reads Our Black History Aloud
Robert S. Abbott
May 5, 1905
The Chicago Defender
The Chicago Defender, The Pittsburgh Courier, The Los Angeles Sentinel, The New York Amsterdam News, The Afro American, The Atlanta Daily World, The Call And Post, The Liberator, and so many more black newspapers were responsible for maintaining channels for our ancestors during the time period of Jim Crowism when our black ancestors were most vulnerable to the oppressive conditions in the United States.
It was all these black media outlets that were responsible for getting out the truths of the cycle of repression that our ancestors were subjected to by bigotry, hatred, and white mob violence. The major white newspapers in this country virtually ignored the white mob violence that was perpetrated on our black ancestors. If these white newspapers reported any news coming from the black communities it always seemed to slant the stories towards scenarios that placed our black ancestors in a negative light.
So it of high importance that we understand just how vital these black newspapers were to maintaining the connections of truth and justice for our black ancestors. Some will say the number one newspaper for the black communities east, west, north, or south was the Chicago Defender. This paper was the dream of Robert S. Abbott who started his media empire in his Chicago Flat with no more than a quarter and a dream. Yet it was through Mr. Abbott's grit and determination that the Chicago Defender became the preeminent voice of the black community when our black community needed that voice the most.
So today I will spend just a few moments reading some history of the Chicago Defender and its historic black founder Robert S. Abbott. I mean look back at the various movements generated in black communities and you will find the handprints of the Chicago Defender. The great migration of southern blacks to northern cities was spearheaded by the Chicago Defender. The great civil rights movement was a featured reporting strength of the Chicago Defender. The cases of fierce racial injustice by southern whites were reported on by the Chicago Defender. All the great black sporting events especially negro baseball was promoted by the Chicago Defender.
So on this day May 5, 1905, the greatest black newspaper of all time was founded by Robert S. Abbott. So I bring salutations for Mr. Abbott's achievements in the publishing industry. Had he not had the fortitude to sense the need to giving blacks a fair shake in the newspapers. It is no telling where we as a community would be today.