Oral history interview with Jesse Walker, 1971.
Jesse H. Walker was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1920 and was raised between New York and North Carolina. He graduated from high school in 1937 and attended Livingston College in North Carolina. In 1942, Walker received his BS in chemistry and joined the armed forces in 1943. For several years after the end of his service in 1946, he worked in Newark, New Jersey; New York City; and Baltimore, Maryland for various newspapers, including the New York Age. In the late 1950s, he joined the New York Amsterdam News as assistant manager and became executive editor in 1966. Walker left the paper in 1980 to become executive editor at The New York Voice. He passed away from cancer in 1992.
Scope and Contents
In this interview conducted by Henry La Brie III, Jesse Walker talks about how and why he decided to become a journalist. He makes distinctions between the black press and white press in terms of their different goals, perspectives in reporting, frequencies of their circulations, readerships, the ways that both grew and developed, and their different impacts on society. Walker discusses the logistics of operating a national daily paper and why it is not feasible to have one, as well as the importance of a national black news service. He also explains how the white establishment press has handled reporting minority-related news around the time of the interview.