ProQuest® Historical NewspapersChicago Defender Winter 2006
Founded in 1905 • Weekly newspaper from 1905 – 1956 • Weekend & Daily (M – Th) 1956 - 1975 • Digitizing 1909 – 1975 • 1905 – 1908 not available on microfilm or print • Will digitize these years if they become available
Chicago Defender Production Schedule (1909 – 1975) • October 2005 Release • Weekend edition from 1935 - 1975 • 2006 Releases • Weekend edition 1909 – 1934 • Daily edition (M – Th) 1956 - 1975
Chicago Defender • One of the most important African-American newspapers in the U.S., with more than two-thirds of its readership outside Chicago • Leading proponent of the “Great Migration,” the move of over 1.5 million African-Americans from segregated South to industrial North, 1915–1925 • Covered the Red Summer Riots of 1919 (race riots) • Editorialized for anti-lynching legislation • Noted for the quality of its writers including: • Author Langston Hughes, whose “Simple” stories first appeared in the Defender column he wrote for more than 20 years, starting in 1942 • Poet Gwendolyn Brooks, appointed poet laureate of Illinois in 1968 • Novelist Willard Motley, author of Knock Down Any Door; compared to realist Theodore Dreiser • Novelist and civil rights activist Walter White
The Defender urged equal treatment of black soldiers during World War I. During World War II the Defender, like other black newspapers, protested the treatment of black servicemen and urged the integration of the armed forces.
The Defender reported on the major events of the Civil Rights movement, praising the decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education and reporting the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Not only did the Defender report on politics and editorialize on social issues, but it also covered sports, music – especially jazz – and other cultural events important to the African-American community
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