The Library of Congress > Chronicling America > Richmond planet.

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

Pages Available: 8,524,634

Title:
Richmond planet. : (Richmond, Va.) 1883-1938
Alternative Titles:
  • Planet
Place of publication:
Richmond, Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Richmond, Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City State
Publisher:
Planet Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
1883-1938
Description:
  • -55th year, no. 28 (May 28, 1938).
  • Began in 1883.
Frequency:
Weekly
Language:
  • English
Subjects:
  • African American newspapers--Virginia.
  • African Americans--Virginia--Newspapers.
  • Richmond (Va.)--Newspapers.
Notes:
  • Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service, the Library of Virginia and UMI.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 10 (Feb. 21, 1885).
  • Included an illustrated section, Jan. 4, 1930-Dec. 27, 1930.
  • Publisher varies: John Mitchell, Jr. <1900>-Nov. 30, 1929; R.C. Mitchell, Jan. 3, 1930-<1933>; Enterprise Publishing Co., <1934>-June 13, 1936; Richmond Planet Pub. Co., Inc., June 20, 1936-
LCCN:
sn 84025841
OCLC:
10412790
ISSN:
2151-4011
Succeeding Titles:
Related Links:
Holdings:
View complete holdings information
View
First Issue Last Issue

Richmond planet. November 16, 1889, Image 1

Browse:

Calendar View

All front pages

First Issue  |  Last Issue

Richmond Planet

First published in 1882, and founded by 13 former Richmond slaves, the Planet was initially edited by Edmund A. Randolph. Two years later, 21-year-old John Mitchell, Jr., succeeded Randolph and continued as editor for the next 45 years, until 1929. Mitchell wasted little time: he replaced much of the press equipment, contributed his own artwork to the paper’s always impressive design, and increased circulation to the point that the Planet eventually turned a modest profit. The Planet by 1904 had reached a weekly circulation of 4,200. The paper also quickly gained a reputation as a staunch defender of the African-American community and a voice against racial injustice—“daring to hurl thunderbolts of truth into the ranks of the wicked. . . . No stronger race man is known among us.”

The Planet covered local, national, and international news, especially focusing on segregation, the depredations of the Ku Klux Klan, voting rights, and the scourge of lynching. Mitchell—“courageous almost to a fault”—never wavered in his loud protests, even in the face of frequent death threats. He once armed himself and personally went to investigate a lynching.

Hoping to influence change from within, Mitchell rose to considerable prominence within banking circles as well as the Republican Party and served on the Richmond city council from 1888 to 1896. But he gradually lost faith in any chance of blacks and whites uniting politically or in the cause of labor solidarity. After the segregation of Richmond’s streetcar system in 1904, Mitchell’s frustration and anguish erupted—“Let us walk.” “A people,” he added, “who will willingly accept discrimination . . . are not sufficiently advanced to be entitled to the liberties of a free people.” It is not surprising then that in editorial after editorial Mitchell increasingly shunned the more moderate strategies of leaders such as Booker T. Washington. He thereafter repeatedly positioned the Planet as one the South’s most forceful black voices, even once advising blacks to arm themselves in self-defense. The Planet thus reached far beyond Richmond, achieving prominence—and a degree of notoriety—throughout the South.

After numerous legal battles over his ownership of the paper and his several business failures, Mitchell died in poverty in 1929. The Planet, however, continued until 1938, when it merged with the Afro-American.

Provided by: Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA