The African American Religious Press

John M. Giggie

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195395068
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The African American Religious Press


The topic of black religious newspapers is one that has received scant attention from scholars of religion and the media, who prefer wider stories on the rise of the institution of the black press in general or narrower ones on a famous secular press. News about African Americans' sacred life has not always been readily and amply available. Indeed, the history of the modern black religious press is more a chronicle of failed endeavors than long-running successes, of aborted efforts than sustained publications. Since the birth of black newspapers in the nineteenth century, only a few denominational organs have avoided bankruptcy and lasted beyond a few months. That notable list includes the Christian Recorder, the Christian Index, the Baptist Vanguard, and the Southwestern Christian Advocate. These papers persisted far longer than their peers because they shared a range of editorial themes, advertising strategies, and marketing tactics that set them apart from their competitors and, in the minds of many blacks, made them essential to their daily lives.

Keywords: religious press; African Americans; editorial themes; advertising; black newspapers; Christian Recorder; Christian Index; Baptist Vanguard; Southwestern Christian Advocate; religious newspapers

Article.  6470 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies

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