The Afro Texan Press 

The Early Years




When slavery was abolished and the Negro was enfranchised, the race began a new life; and the necessity for creating and organizing public opinion and for looking after the particular interests of the race became at once apparent. As this necessity arose in the midst of political change and revolution, the newspapers started under its spur were narrowly political and partisan. Most of them were the "organs" of county, district, and state committees. Their editors were politicians and office-seekers, rather than broad-minded men seeking to enforce eternal principles and to accomplish permanent results. In later years a group of papers came into existence edited by men of education, who had comprehensive views of public duty and civic life. As a consequence one finds less in the Negro paper about candidates and platforms and parties, and more about home life, social betterment, education, economic efficiency and the true principles of human equality. 

In the beginning the Negro editor had a small reading constituency. due in part to his own unpreparedness as a publicist, but more largely to the illiteracy of the race.

Many of the papers were practically worthless, except as they chronicle the social and personal occurrences of a local community and their editors were without educational or other fitness for their task. It was not unusual to find a paper whose mechanical appearance was untidy, in whose columns the rules of grammar was constantly violated, and in which the commonest words were incorrectly spelled. In contradistinction to these obscure papers, there were a number of papers published by Negroes indifferent sections of Texas which are really a credit to the profession of journalism.

The newspapers may be classed under four headings: school papers, religious papers, fraternal and beneficial papers, and secular papers


Religious Papers

Secular Papers

School Papers 

.A List of Texas Newspapers in Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

.A List of Texas Newspapers in The Project Gutenberg eBook of Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge 1897

A List of Texas Newspapers in The Negro in Business by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois  1899 

A List of Texas Newspapers in The NegroYear Book 1913

A List of Texas Newspapers in The NegroYear Book 1916

A List of Texas Newspapers in The NegroYear Book 1932

A List of Texas Newspapers in The NegroYear Book 1938

A List of Texas Newspapers in The NegroYear Book 1946

A List of Texas Newspapers in The NegroYear Book 1952

First African American Newspaper in the United States

First African American Newspaper in the South

External Links

The Handbook of Texas Online Newspapers and Magazines

Index to San Antonio Register : UTSA Library  The current index covers issues from May 29, 1931 through May 29, 1959.

The San Antonio Register

BLACK PRESS HELD BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS - Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room (Serial and Government Publications

University of Texas Libraries - Research by Subject - African American Studies - Major African American Newspapers and Periodic

The Negro Newspaper Volume I - Vishnu V. Oak

The Negro press in the United States - Detweiler, Frederick German, 1881-

The Afro-American Press and Its Editors
by Irvine Garland Penn - 1891

PBS film: The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords

AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS: The 19th Century   Subscription required