Oral history interview with F. M. Johnson, 1971.
F. M. Johnson was born in Hempstead, Texas, in 1892. Johnson began a career in printing while attending Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas, and played a leading role in the establishment of the Waco Messenger, a weekly newspaper founded in the 1920s to serve the city's black community.
Scope and Contents
In his 1971 interview with Henry La Brie III, Johnson discusses his experience with various black newspapers. Topics of discussion include: the use of propaganda by the black press; the impact of the Great Depression on the Messenger; the aftermath of the deadly 1953 tornado that struck Waco; how the black press in the American South differs in tone from that in the North; how the role of the black press has changed since its 1827 origins; and how the black press has aided race relations and assimilation over the years. Johnson gives his opinions on the increase in interest in minority news, the opinion that the black press is sensational, his personal reluctance to publish crime stories, and the goals of the black press.