This chapter discusses the role of the black press in the history of Negroes in Illinois in the early decades of the twentieth century, led by the Chicago Defender. The great majority of Illinois Negro newspapers have been published in Chicago, have been weeklies, and, with a few exceptions, have been short-lived. Of those operating in 1942, only the Chicago Defender and the Springfield Conservator were established prior to 1925. Outside of Chicago, a number of Negro newspapers have appeared from time to time. Aside from the Chicago papers, most of the Negro journals in 1942 were linked with political activity, stressed community news, and depended upon local advertising. This chapter first looks at the history of the Chicago Defender, founded by Robert S. Abbott, and its advocacy of the Negro exodus from the South before turning to other black newspapers and publications in Illinois during the period, including the Illinois Chronicle, the Springfield Conservator, the Chicago Enterprise, and Dynamite.
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