Kinsearching May 4, 2008




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Researchers interested in the areas of African American journalism, history, genealogy, and culture will welcome the recent reprint of BIBLIOGRAPHIC CHECKLIST OF AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS by Barbara K. Henritze. Her book is the first serious attempt to compile a comprehensive checklist of newspapers owned, published, edited, and read mainly by African Americans in the United States. This survey covers the years 1827 (when the first African American newspaper came off the press) through 1995.

     Gleaning material from more than 100 major bibliographic sources like annual newspaper directories, finding aids, union lists, and African American bibliographies, yearbooks, and newspaper resources, Henritze's compilation contains data on 5,539 assorted periodicals. Although most of the periodicals are newspapers, a few magazines, such as Ebony, are also included. African American publications are identified in the District of Columbia and in all states except Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

     Following Henritze's interesting and helpful introduction concerning African American newspaper collections and ways to locate individual publications or issues, the main text presents in tabular form a roster of all known African American newspapers. Listed alphabetically, the names of the newspapers appear under the name of the state and then under the name of the city, both of which are also in alphabetical order. When available, additional details for the papers include frequency of publication, years of publication, and source citation. By presenting a complete alphabetized inventory of the newspaper titles, the index serves as a cross-reference, making it easy for researchers to check for newspapers by either geographic area or name.

     Since the volume's first publication in 1995, data on some of the periodicals may have changed. Henritze, for example, recorded the name of a Lubbock, Texas, newspaper as Lubbock Southwest Digest. That paper now carries the shorter title Southwest Digest. In addition, it would also be useful to know if any African American titles have turned up for the six states in which none was found more than ten years ago. Perhaps the next time Henritze's work is reprinted, it will contain updated information.

     Henritze's BIBLIOGRAPHIC CHECKLIST OF AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS remains an indispensable research tool for individuals delving into African American social and cultural history as well as genealogy. It is a worthwhile "core" book in any collection of African American reference materials.

     The 206-page paperback includes a foreword by Tony Burroughs and two appendices. To the book's price of $39.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.00 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #2687) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

The selected items below come from the "Condensed News" column of the 17 July 1908 issue of the Dallas Semi-Weekly Farm News, published in Dallas, TX. (Surnames are capitalized for emphasis.)

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