Oral history interview with Lionel C. Barrow, 1971.
Lionel Barrow (1926-2009) was a leader of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and began its Minorities and Communications Division. Barrow graduated from Morehouse College in 1948, in the same graduating class as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and later received a master's degree in Journalism in 1958 and a doctorate in Mass Communications in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Barrow served in the 24th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War. He taught as a professor of African American Studies and Communication at the University of Wisconsin before moving to Howard University, where he served as Dean of the School of Communications from 1975-1985. He received the AEJMC Presidential Award in 1997, and has a minority doctoral scholarship in his name.
Scope and Contents
Barrow discusses his experiences at The Baltimore Afro-American, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the significance of black media, and supporting the next generation of black journalists. Barrow describes: the need for local coverage; and the longevity of black papers such as The Afro and Atlanta Daily World; the limitations of black mobility; the central role of the black press to the survival of black communities; and the need for a national news service to support minority publications. He also describes his own daily news consumption. He criticizes the notion of objectivity and the mainstream media’s sensationalist approach to black issues and communities. Lastly, Barrow describes: the growing popularity of black magazines; the mainstream media’s failure to diversify; the research of Edward Trayes; the challenges of training black students interested in journalism; the SCLC’s (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) Operation Breadbasket; and his aspirations for curricula improvements at historically black colleges and universities.