Claude Barnett: Revolutionizing African American Press

The Early Years

Claude Barnett was born in 1889 in Sanford, FL. After moving around to Illinois, he ultimately went on to college at the prestigious Tuskegee University graduating in 2 years with the universities highest award. After graduating in 1906 he went on to work for the postal service in Chicago.

The Development of His Career

Due to the nature of Barnett's career he had the ability to read many newspapers and magazines leading to his fascination in advertising. This interest led him to partner with a cosmetic firm, serving as their advertising manager. He focused on marketing in mainly African American newspapers and felt they had a lack of real news to report. As a result, Barnett decided to start the Associated Negro Press changing the face of African American press in America.

Changing the face of American press

In the beginning of its creating the ANP utilized the reports of other newspapers, however, Barnett eventually built his own team of reporters who were providing stories for newspapers across the country for up to 25$. At their peak the ANP was being used by over 200 newspapers including those over seas in Africa and the West Indies. The creation of this groundbreaking news wire service, is what truly separated Barnett from other notable African Americans in journalism. 



Emily Petrini said...

Claude Barnett's story is especially inspiring because he was able to cross the socially loaded and prevalent boundary of what african americans were able and not able to do during this time period. In the late 1800s, the only jobs socially acceptable to blacks were service jobs and jobs requiring low skill. Barnett, however, took his passion of advertising and used it to fuel his successful career in starting the Associated Negro Press. Barnett's story is the epitome of why America is seen as the land of opportunity. While the feat he overcame was undoubtedly a hard one, and one which allowed for intense scrutinization from a racists society, his hard work and determination brought him success in the field he was most passionate about.

Dylan_M said...

The Associated Negro press was very influential during the many years it was established. However, after Claude Barnett passed away the paper ceased to exist. My question is, hypothetically, if Claude Barnett were still alive today would the ANP still exist today. Of course it would not exist on the same principles in which it was created, that being segregation, but would it exist on the principles that the many African American literatures exist on today. My question is would this make the pieces of literature better or worse. Would it instill more ideas of segregation, or would it improve the culture.