#BlackHistoryMonth Profile: T. Thomas Fortune

T. Thomas Fortune (1856-928) was the preeminent black journalist of his day and was the first to popularize the term “Afro-American”.  As a black editor and journalist, he was key to the understanding of black leadership after Reconstruction.

T. Thomas Fortune (1856-1928)

Born a slave in Florida’s Jackson County, encounters with the Ku Klux Klan, forced Fortune’s family to flee to Jacksonville.  Growing up with interests in politics and journalism, Fortune became a page with the state Senate. 

Fortune would then find himself settling in New York, where he founded his own newspaper the New York Age, which he controlled from 1887-1907.  Fortune was also the editor of Marcus Garvey’s publication, Negro World.

Fortune was often compared to Booker T. Washington.  Washington was the “safe” negro while Fortune was labeled the “agitator”.


Today we honor the father of African-American journalism, T. Thomas Fortune!

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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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