The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America

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SKU: 9781328470249 Categories: , ,


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Giving voice to the voiceless, The Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for The Defender’s support.

Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.

Additional information

Weight1.2 lbs
Dimensions8.0 × 5.3 × 1.0 in
Book Author

Date Published

March 6, 2018








Mariner Books

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