Friday, February 5, 2010

Alternative Newspapers May Be A Valuable Resource

With the beginning of Black History Month it has occurred to me that some underutilized resources for research maybe the many African American newspapers published in the past century. There are a multitude of newspapers that have devoted their attention to the African-American community. In Atlanta, Georgia, the resources published by the African-American press in the past century provide a tremendous opportunity to obtain new perspective and new ideas about the local history. The best known of the African American newspapers published in Atlanta in the 1900s were The Atlanta Daily World and The Atlanta Tribune and The Atlanta Voice. Yet, as early as 1904, The Atlanta Independent and The Voice of the Negro were both publishing information exclusive to the African-American communities throughout Georgia and the South.

These newspapers have the potential of adding new perspective on major events. We could ask and answer a number of interesting questions that might put a new interpretation on local and national history. How did these journals report on World War One of World War Two? What were the opinions of these newspapers and their editors? What impact did the Great Depression have on the African-American communities of Georgia? What was their position on Viet Nam?

African-American newspapers may provide a unique perspective on family and local history. We need to think about this and remember these papers as we explore our family history.

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