Welcome to The Skanner News' African American History Month tribute to the Black press; click here for a digital edition you can read from the comfort of your chair.
You’ve heard of The Skanner News and The Observer; you’ve heard of The Medium and The Facts.
In Seattle there’s also been the Afro-American (1968-69), The Northwest Herald (1943-46), The Seattle Enterprise (1920-30), and the Seattle Republican (1994-10) which was published by Horace Cayton, Sr., a Mississippi native who was born into slavery in 1859 and eventually went on to work at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Probably the very first Black newspaper in the Pacific Northwest was the Seattle Standard (1893-94), where Cayton got his start.
In Portland there was the Clarion Defender (1965-72), Portland Challenger (1952-54), and the Portland Times (1918-20). Both towns have seen several other African American papers that lasted just a year or less, a few dating back to the 1890s.
As we prepared this special edition, we were amazed at how many Black newspapers have hung out their shingle and tried to thrive in Oregon and Washington – both notorious Ku Klux Klan states.
In this special edition we have reprinted scholarly articles from the University of Oregon Historic Oregon Newspapers project (find out more about them at www.oregonnews.uoregon.edu); and from Dr. Quintard Taylor’s unparalleled website, www.BlackPast.org. We would also like to thank the Oregon Historical Society for its images of Beatrice Morrow Cannady, and Kathryn Bogle and her son Richard.
We hope readers take the time to check out the offerings on BlackPast.org and also the Oregon Historical Society (www.OHS.org), and share what you’ve learned with your family and friends.
We also hope you are inspired by the courage of individuals such as Ida B. Wells and Marcus Garvey, who sacrificed much to not only improve their communities but also change the world.