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Early African-American Newspapers of Kentucky

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Location: Kentucky, United Statesmap
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A list of the first African-American newspapers established in Kentucky.

Research Notes

  • The first known African-American newspapers to serve Kentucky were the Colored Citizen, which was briefly published in Louisville in 1866, and the Colored Kentuckian, launched in 1867.

Negro Press Association, Kentucky In June of 1907, a group of African American newspaper men gathered at Calvary Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and formed the Negro Press Association for Kentucky. N. W. Magowan, editor of the Reporter in Mt. Sterling, KY, was president; J. E. Wood of the Torch Light in Danville, KY, was vice president; Miss Julia S. Young from Louisville was secretary; and E. E. Underwood of the Blue Grass Bugle in Frankfort, was treasurer. There was also an executive board: W. H. Steward, R. T. Berry, and Rev. S. L. M. Francis. A second meeting was held in Mt. Sterling, KY, in August of 1907, and steps were taken to solidify the Negro vote in Kentucky. All Colored newspapers in Kentucky were invited to join the organization. It is not known how long the initial association existed. The Kentucky Negro Press Association was formed in 1915. For more see "State press association," Freeman, 06/29/1907, p.1; "Negro editors," Lexington Leader, 08/17/1907, p.4; "Negro Press Association," Lexington Leader, 08/28/1907; and "Kentucky Negro press association...," Freeman, 09/07/1907, p.4.


African American Newspapers in Kentucky named within the NKAA Database.

  • Advance-Courier / Unknown / Lexington / 1885-1886
  • Afro-American Mission Herald / National Baptist Convention of the United States of America, Foreign Mission Board / Louisville / 1897-1912
  • Baptist Herald / Rev. George W. Dupee, owner and editor / Paducah / 1873-1878 (Later became the American Baptist) [3]
  • Bluegrass Chronicle / Edgar Wallace / Lexington / 1978-1980
  • Bowling Green Watchman / Cyrus R. McDowell, founder and editor / Bowling Green / 1887-1892
  • Bulletin / Adams Brothers [John and Cyrus Adams] / Louisville / 1879-1885
  • The Champion / Editors: Horace Morris and G. W. Hatton / Louisville / 1890-1893
  • Christian Index / Editors: Henry Clay Weeden and J. W. Bell, Colored Methodist Episcopal Church / 1867-1873 (Memphis, TN), 1873-1882 (Louisville, KY), 1882-1966 (Jackson, TN) [7]
  • The Christian Soldier / R. E. Pearson, editor and D. I. Reid, printer, Convention of the Colored Christian Churches of Kentucky / Lexington / 1872-?
  • Christian Trumpet / Convention of the Colored Christian Churches of Kentucky / Lexington / 1921-?
  • Christian Worker / Samuel J. W. Spurgeon, founder and editor / Kentucky / ?-?
  • The Colored Citizen / Editors: Horace Morris, John H. Mason, and Marsh Woodson, Convention of Colored Men in Kentucky / Louisville / 1866-?
  • The Colored Kentuckian / Philip H. Murry and J. P. Sampson, founders / Louisville / 1867-?
  • Columbian Herald / Dr. Percy R. Peters, editor and publisher / Louisville / 1913-1927
  • Community Voice / Donald Cordray, founder and editor / Lexington / 1987-2001
  • Edmonson Star News / Denver D. Ferguson, founder and editor / Brownsville / ?-1917?
  • Frankfort Clarion / Clarence L. Timberlake, owner and editor / Frankfort / ?-?
  • Frankfort Tribune / Hardin Tolbert, editor and publisher / Frankfort / ?-?
  • The Herald Tribune / Editors: Charles E. Tucker, William Warley, and Huron Clark / Louisville / 1937
  • Hopkinsville Contender / Ephraim Poston, owner and publisher / Hopkinsville / ?-?
  • Hopkinsville Globe Journal / Leonard S. Grooms, religious editor / Hopkinsville / 1936-1943
  • Inter-State County News / James W. Wood, editor / Lexington / 1935-1940
  • Kentuckian / Horace Morris, editor / Louisville / 1870s
  • The Kentucky Club Woman: the official organ of the Kentucky State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs / Edited by Daisy M. Saffell in 1913 / Frankfort / 1900s
  • Kentucky Missionary Visitor / Paul H. Kennedy, editor / Henderson / ?-1915
  • Kentucky Reporter / Robert T. Berry and George W. Berry / Owensboro, then Louisville / 1899-1953 [9] [10]
  • The Kentucky Voice / Kathy Robinson / Paducah / 1988-present
  • Key Newsjournal / Patrice Muhammad and LaMaughn Muhammad, founders and editors / Lexington / 2004-present
  • The Lexington Chronicle / Theodore "Cal" Wallace, Sr. and Family, owners, editors, and publishers / Lexington / 1960s
  • Lexington Standard / Editors: R. C. O. Benjamin; William D. Johnson; Daniel I. Reid; Henry P. Slaughter; Wade H. Carter / Lexington / 1892-1912
  • Lexington Weekly News / Edward D. Willis, Daniel I. Reid, and A. W. Davis / Lexington / 1912-?
  • The Lincoln=Grant Herald / Miss E. Beatrice Brown, editor-in-chief / January 1913 first issue - ?
  • The Light House / T. A. Lawrence, editor / Paducah / 1908-1937
  • Louisville Columbian / Editors: L. A. Morris; W. H. Parker, Dr. P. R. Peters; Jesse B. Colbert / Louisville / 1899-1917
  • Louisville Defender / Owners: Alvin Bowman, John Sengstacke, and later Frank L. Stanley, Sr. and Frank L. Stanley, Jr. / Louisville / 1933-present
  • Louisville Leader / I. Willis Cole, founder and editor / Louisville / 1917-1953
  • Louisville News / William Warley, founder and editor; Lee L. Brown, editor / Louisville / 1913-1947
  • Louisville Weekly Planet / T. F. Cassels and Nathaniel R. Harper, founder / Louisville / 1872-1875
  • Major / Phil H. Brown, editor / Hopkinsville / 1897-1904
  • Masonic Herald / Editors: W. H. Mayo; Walter T. Bradley, Jr., Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. of Kentucky, Inc. / Frankfort (1914-15) / 19??-?
  • Masonic and Odd Fellows' Journal / American Citizen Printing Company / Lexington / 1876-?
  • Morning News / Phil H. Brown, editor / Hopkinsville / 1903-?
  • National Chronicle / John H. Ayres, business manager / Winchester / 1891-1915
  • The Negro Citizen / Pleasant A. Nichols, owner and publisher / Paducah / ?-?
  • New South / James E. Givens, founder and editor / Louisville / 1894-1897
  • The Reporter /[[Magowan-106|John D. MagowanM and Noah W. Magowan / Mt. Sterling / 1904-1915
  • Saturday News / Phil H. Brown, publisher / Hopkinsville / 1919-1922
  • The Star Weekly / Hardin Tolbert, publisher and editor / Frankfort / 1914-?
  • Torchlight or Torch Light / John Edmund Wood, owner and editor / Danville, then Lexington / 1903-1929 [11]
  • Tri-weekly Informer / Editors and Owners: Lucille E. St. Clair, Alice Dunnigan, and M. S. Kimbley / Louisville / 1939
  • Visitor / Rev. Jacob Allen Ross / Lexington / 1877-?


  1. https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/3000042
  2. Jackson, Jordan C., Jr. (born: 1848 - died: 1918) Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY, the son of James Ann and Jordan C. Jackson, Sr. An attorney and an African American Republican leader in Kentucky, Jordan Jr. was the first African American undertaker in Lexington, along with his partner William M. Porter. Jackson eventually bought out Porter. Prior to getting into the undertaking business, Jackson was editor of the American Citizen newspaper. He also contracted with the federal government to carry mail from the train to the post office. He was chairman of the committee behind the creation of Douglass Park in Lexington, KY. He was married to Isabelle Mitchell Jackson and brother of John H. Jackson.
  3. “Dupee, George W.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2021, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/1195.
  4. According to author C. M. Meacham, the Baptist Monitor newspaper started in Princeton, KY, in the 1880s and was moved to Hopkinsville, KY, where James L. Allensworth, Sr. was the editor. After several years, the newspaper was either moved to another town or ceased publiction [source: "Papers published by Negroes" in Chapter 13 of A History of Christian County Kentucky by C. M. Meacham].
  5. “Underwood, Edward Ellsworth,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2021, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/33.
  6. “McRidley, Wendell H. [Cadiz Normal and Theological College],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2021, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/706.
  7. “Weeden, Henry Clay,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2021, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/725.
  8. “Reid, Daniel Isaiah,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2021, https://ukscrc001.net/nkaa/items/show/2525.
  9. R. T. Berry (1874-1967) was editor and publisher of the Kentucky Reporter, a weekly, pro-Repulican, newspaper first in Owensboro, KY, then in Louisville, KY, from 1899 to the 1953 [source: Bibliographic Checklist of African American Newspapers by B. K. Henritze, p.58]. He co-founded the newspaper with his brother George W. Berry (1873-1939). Looking at the U.S. Census, the two had been tailors in 1900 and operated a newspaper in 1910, both in Owensboro,KY. They were the sons of George and Molly Berry, and the family lived in Glasgow, KY in 1900. George W. Berry was born in Allensville, KY, according to his death certificate. Both R. T. and George Berry's WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, gives the following information: the newspaper was located at 445 7th Street in Louisville and managed by R. T.; George was employed as a U.S. Storekeeper and Gauger, and his wife was Florence H. Berry; George, his wife, and R.T. all lived at 1711 W. Chestnut Street; their mother, Mollie Berry, was still living in Glasgow, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Your History Online VII; and the Kentucky Reporter at the UK National Digital Newspaper Program website.
  10. https://www.uky.edu/Libraries/NDNP/kyreporter.html
  11. From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (source) Torch light (newspaper) Author(s)/Publishing Information J. Edmund Wood; Danville, KY; Lexington, KY Location(s) No holdings have been located at this time Access The newspaper existed from around 1903 up to the death of J. Edmund Wood in 1929, he was editor for 26 years. The newspaper title may have been Torchlight.

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