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Race NewsBlack Journalists and the Fight for Racial Justice in the Twentieth Century$
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Fred Carroll

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041495

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041495.001.0001

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“Questionable Leanings”

“Questionable Leanings”

The “New Crowd” Driven Out

(p.117) Chapter 5 “Questionable Leanings”
Race News

Fred Carroll

University of Illinois Press

During the Cold War, the anticommunism movement spurred leading black publishers to rid their newsrooms of left-leaning journalists and suppress coverage of radical political perspectives. Publishers made a pragmatic decision to protect their businesses. This action reoriented black newswriting by narrowing the parameters of what was considered acceptable political discourse just as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum. Commercial journalists transformed into establishmentarian dissidents who denounced communism and worked within the prevailing political structure for social change. Frustrated and marginalized, progressive editors and activists revived a struggling alternative black press – with Paul Robeson’s Freedom being the most notable publication – to challenge the politcs of integration. Meanwhile, national newspapers’ circulations collapsed as they encountered new competitive challenges from white newspapers, television, and Ebony and Jet magazines.

Keywords:   anticommunism, Civil Rights Movement, Cold War, Ebony, establishmentarian, Freedom, Jet, Paul Robeson, television

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