Definition of the Black Press

Before one can begin discussing the use of emerging technology in the black press, the phrase, itself, must be defined. The greatest misconception is that the term describes a publication that only appeals to a majority of black readership. In actuality, this partially explains the definition. For a publication to be considered a member of the black press, it must fulfill the following criteria:

As an example, Rap Pages publishes a monthly magazine that focuses on the world of rap and its culture. Because this form of music was created and is enjoyed by a large portion of the black community, an individual might consider it a "black press" publication. The owner of Rap Pages, however, is Larry Flynt, the founder of Hustler magazine. Since he is a White man, the magazine does not fit the stated requirements. Additionally, the publication is not a wellspring of militance for black rap culturalists worldwide. In other words, it is an informative magazine that does not fight for any causes concerning the hapless victims within the black population.

Contrastly, the Chicago Defender is a prime example of a black pres publication. It was founded by Robert Abbott and is currently run and owned by his nephew, John Sengstacke. Both men are African-American. Secondly, the paper is intended for members of the black community. It was created with the intent of capturing the readership of black Chicagoans. The fulfillment of the final criteria, however, is the most important. It is rather simple to provide the community with information concerning their daily lives. The Chicago Defender, though, has fought for the black minority on several fronts. Not only were they directly involved with desegregation in the United States military, but they were also instrumental in working with Franklin D. Roosevelt on the creation of employment opportunities in the U.S. Postal Service. This newspaper truly epitomizes the definition of the black press.

A Timeline of the Black Press
Definition of the Black Press
Old Soldiers, New Territory: Afro-Americ@
Old Soldiers, New Territory: The Indianapolis Recorder
New Challenges for New Frontiersman
Black Press Gallery