Jim Crow, Politics, and Economic Empowerment: The Afro-American Ledger, 1902
Carmack, Karisse A.
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This case study of Baltimore's The Afro-American Ledger in 1902 analyzes the news and editorial content, demonstrating the power of advocacy journalism at the turn of the last century. The Ledger used its pages to persuade readers to fight the Jim Crow car bill, and to provide information about the bill's status. When blacks in other Southern states lost their right to vote and participate in the political process, the Ledger encouraged readers to use their vote and their voices to speak out against the Democratic and Republican parties during an election year. As a black-owned and operated newspaper whose founders were also men of the cloth, the Ledger encouraged more black Baltimoreans to own their own businesses, self-govern themselves, and obtain respectable jobs. Many of the editorials were devoted to finding ways to uplift the black community morally, spiritually, economically, and politically. This thesis puts the meaning and purpose of the news articles and editorials within the context of the time period in which they were published: the Jim Crow era, which is of enduring interest.