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Oral history interview with Margaret E. McCall, 1971.

Creator: McCall, Margaret E.
Project: Black Journalists Oral History Collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 47 pages Sound recording: 1 sound cassette
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

Margaret E. McCall was born in Montgomery, Alabama and graduated from the Hampton Institute in Virginia and Tuskegee University in Alabama. In 1914, she married another Montgomery native, James Edward McCall. James McCall became a newsman and started the publication The Emancipator, which he produced and printed with his wife from 1917-1920. After being threatened by the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, the couple and their two daughters moved to Detroit, Michigan. There, the McCalls edited the Detroit Independent before starting the Detroit Tribune with Joe W. Peck in 1933. Under the direction of the McCalls, the Detroit Tribune was a platform for social activism and progress. In 1945, the McCalls sold the Detroit Tribune and retired.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, McCall discusses her and her husband's upbringing, how the black press has changed over the years, her marriage, and the early years of her life in Detroit. She chronicles the various owners and phases of the Detroit Tribune and her husband's employment through the Great Depression. McCall reflects on how the platform of the Tribune was used, including: campaigns for black judges; African American voter mobilization; charity activities on Christmas; and publicity for the personal threats her family had received from white supremacists. She interprets the advances made by the black press and black communities throughout her life. Also discussed is: the uncertain future of black newspapers; the distinctions between the black and white press; and the impact of television and radio on print media.


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