Eight early Black newspapers in the Bay Area (Part I)

The Bay Area has a legacy of Black media. Early newspapers protested the inhumanity of slavery and the need for equal rights for Black people.

"The paper has always been committed to civil rights and complete equality. I think that's been the primary goal of the black press. It was our stated goal to attain first-class citizenship, and to be a watchdog for whatever injustices based on racism occurred to let the world know about it."
Thomas C. Fleming, 1997, co-founder of Sun-Reporter

Here are some of the early Black newspapers on the West Coast:

  1. Mirror of the Times

  2. Founded: 1857
    Ceased Publication: 1858
    Oldest Black newspaper on the West Coast.

  3. The Elevator

  4. Founded: 1854
    Ceased Publication: 1898

  5. San Francisco Vindicator

  6. Founded: 1887
    Ceased Publication: 1906

  7. Western Outlook

  8. Founded: September 1, 1894
    Ceased Publication: 1928
    Editors: John Lincoln Derrick and Joseph Smallwood Francis
    Published: Weekly
    MOTTO:“A Journal Devoted to the Interests of the Negro on the Pacific Coast and the Betterment of His Condition.”

  9. Oakland Sunshine

  10. Founded: 1914
    Ceased Publication: 1922

  11. California Voice

  12. Founded: 1917
    Aqcuired by Metro Reporter Newspapers (Sun-Reporter) in early 1960s

  13. San Francisco Spokesman (The Spokesman)

  14. Founded: 1931
    Ceased Publication: 1935
    Founder: John Pittman
    Frequency: Weekly
    Following the folding of The Spokesman, Pittman went on to write for People’s World—a West Coast communist party publication that was the only newspaper to hire Black people to write.

    8) The Reporter

    Founded: 1944
    Founder: Thomas Fleming

    Founded: 1945
    Combined Dr. Carlton Goodlet’s The Sun (former editor of Howard University’s “The Hilltop”) and Flemings Reporter.

    MOTTO: “That no good cause shall lack a champion, and that evil shall not thrive unopposed."

Do you know of any other early Black newspapers in the Bay Area?

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