The Baltimore Afro-American
The Afro, as it is commonly known, is a weekly newspaper in Baltimore, MD. The newspaper has been in circulation since 1892 and is the oldest black family-owned newspaper in the United States. This black owned and operated newspaper has crusaded for racial equality and the socioeconomic advancement of African Americans throughout its existence. For over a half a century, The Afro was the most widely circulated black newspaper on the Atlantic coast and today, with offices in Baltimore and DC, the newspaper has both a print and an online presence. It publishes two weekly editions and on the online front, The Afro gives users access to The Afro Archives - a vault that features various editions from the last 100 years that cover an impressive span of change, division and progress in African American History.
Backstory and Context
At the peak of its powers, The Afro was circulated in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. bi-weekly and in Philadelphia, Richmond, and Newark, once a week. The newspaper became a strong force in the fight for racial equality and equal opportunity and its editorial pages were used to lobby for black representation in the legislature and for the establishment of a state supported university to educate African Americans. In the 1930s The Afro launched a successful campaign known as "The Clean Block" campaign, a program that is still in existence today. The campaign has the distinction of being the oldest urban environmental programs in the country and it is held annually with the objective of improving the appearance of, and reducing crime in, inner-city neighborhoods.
Many prominent black journalists and writers have worked for the Afro-American including Langston Hughes, J. Sunders Redding and sports editor Sam Lacy. The Afro was the first black newspaper to have correspondents reporting on the second World War and it was also the first black newspaper to employ female sports correspondents. In the 1950s, The Afro joined forces with the NAACP on numerous civil rights cases and much of the work they did fighting against segregationist admission policies in schools helped pave the way for the landmark supreme court case, Brown v. Board of Education. Today, the Afro-American is managed by fourth generation members of the Murphy family, publishers John J. Oliver, Jr. and Frances M. Draper. It continues its mission with insightful coverage of current events and major social trends.