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St. Louis Regional history comes alive in this joint production by KDHX and the Missouri Historical Society. Stories of our past are connected with the present in these well researched and entertaining short presentations about the people, places, and events that have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. 

Mar 14, 2022

Before social media, newspapers provided a key way to communicate and to gain information, especially for the Black community. The St. Louis Palladium, The St. Louis Argus and The St. Louis American were among the early pioneers of the African American press.  Just press play to hear the whole story. ----- 

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Podcast Transcript: I’m Cicely Hunter, Public Historian from the Missouri Historical Society, and here’s history, on eighty-eight-one, KDHX. ———

Technology has transformed the way we communicate, and social media has become a tool for entertainment and a place to discuss important topics. While today we have Instagram and Facebook, for much of the 20th century and beyond, African Americans relied on Black newspapers as a conventional way to communicate with each other due to the lack of coverage in other newspaper outlets. This allowed Black people to be informed across rivers, railways, within Black churches, clubs, and other fraternal organizations. African Americans were dedicated to producing their own newspapers to emphasize racial pride, promote Black businesses, and recognize important and everyday people of their time. Some of the early St. Louis papers included the St. Louis Palladium, National Tribune, Pythian Voice, and American Eagle which were founded in the late 1800s before St. Louis Argus and The St. Louis American. Black newspapers provided ways to communicate information, entertain, and advise the Black community about key topics. ———

For example, on July 16, 1904, the St. Louis Palladium republished an article called “Abandon Meeting at Fair” detailing that the executive committee of the National Association of Colored Women planned to host their convention at the World’s Fair, but Booker T. Washington’s wife vehemently disagreed by indicating that “the exposition directors had discriminated against Colored women in the matter of securing employment on the grounds and against the race in general.” When a vote was held to determine the location for it, delegates voted to move it to St. Paul AME church. ———

The St. Louis Palladium no longer remains in print, but the St. Louis American which was founded in 1928 continues to serve as a key staple for the African American community and is currently the single largest weekly newspaper in the entire state of Missouri. ———

Here’s history is a joint production of the Missouri Historical Society and KDHX. I’m Cicely Hunter and this is eighty-eight-one, KDHX, St. Louis. ———