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Let Us Make MenThe Twentieth-Century Black Press and a Manly Vision for Racial Advancement$
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D'Weston Haywood

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469643397

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643397.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

The Fraternity

The Fraternity

Robert S. Abbott, John Sengstacke, and a New Order in Black (Male) Journalism

(p.97) 3 The Fraternity
Let Us Make Men

D'Weston Haywood

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter reinterprets the production of black newspapers as a “production” of Race men. It examines Robert S. Abbott’s efforts to groom his nephew, John Sengstacke, to succeed him during a crisis for the nation and for the paper. This crisis was the Great Depression, which presented the Defender with a number of financial challenges. Yet, focusing especially on private letters Abbott and Sengstacke exchanged between 1931 and 1934, Abbott worked to train Sengstacke to confront these challenges by teaching him to be a self-made man. Sengstacke embraced parts of Abbott’s conceptions of manhood, while also embracing conceptions coming from labor activists and Depression era racial and political organizing. Sengstacke eventually married the two and founded the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), which he marketed to other members of the black press as a fraternity. With the black press organized within this masculine framework, many black newspapers worked to unite nationally to fight segregation in the armed forces and major league baseball by the 1940s.

Keywords:   Great Depression, labor, worker consciousness, Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, Associated Negro Press, Robert S. Abbott, John Sengstacke, black fraternity, Chicago Defender

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