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Silences Kept: The Absence of Gender and Sexuality in Black Press Historiography

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Abstract

Approaches to scholarship on the early 20th century black press has marginalized gender and sexuality in the historiography of black newspapers. Historians of black newspapers published between 1910 and 1945, the peak of black newspapers’ popularity, emphasize the political role of the black press. This image has continued to predominate in African American historiography. Scholars have made very little effort to integrate an analysis of gender and sexuality into the work on black newspapers. Consequently, the persistent focus on the political role of the black press has narrowed the definition of “political” in African American historiography and grossly overlooked the value of understanding the black press through its coverage of gender and sexuality.

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