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Oral history interview with John Q. Jordan, 1971.

Creator: Jordan, John Q.
Project: Black Journalists Oral History Collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 47 pages Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

John Q. Jordan was born in North Carolina in 1909 and grew up in Portsmouth, New Jersey. Jordan attended the Boston Clerical School and, briefly, the New England School of Art. In 1933, he was hired by the black newspaper the Norfolk Journal and Guide and returned to New Jersey to work at the Portsmouth Bureau. During World War II, Jordan covered all-black marine units in Italy for the Journal and Guide; his photos and related written work were published in numerous papers across the nation.

Scope and Contents

In his 1971 interview with Henry La Brie III, Jordan discusses his education and its interruption by the Great Depression, his original career plans, how he came to work at the Norfolk Journal and Guide, and how the paper grew under his leadership. He gives his take on how black journalists approach news stories and how he learned to create interest in a story through its visual presentation. Other topics include: the supposed sensationalism of black papers, the relationship between the black press and the civil rights movement, advertising and the black press, and his time as a war correspondent in Italy during World War II.


Using this collection

Columbia Center for Oral History

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Columbia Center for Oral History