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Jackson advocate. [volume] : (Jackson, Miss.) 1939-current
Place of publication:
Jackson, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Jackson, Hinds, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
P. Greene
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1939.
  • English
  • African Americans--Mississippi--Newspapers.
  • African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
  • Hinds County (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Jackson (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Hinds County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01208481
  • Mississippi--Jackson.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205500
  • Mississippi.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207034
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from Bell & Howell.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 45 (Aug. 2, 1941).
sn 79000083
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Jackson Advocate

The longest running African American weekly in Mississippi, the eight-page Jackson Advocate was founded in 1939 by World War I veteran Percy Greene. Greene's press experience began when he started the Colored Veteran, the newspaper of the National Association of Negro War Veterans, a group he organized in 1927. He had a stint working for The Mississippi Enterprise (1938-1988?) also published in his home town, the state capitol, Jackson. The majority of his adult life, however, was spent as a full-time journalist publishing "Mississippi's Greatest Negro Weekly" as he sometimes dubbed the Advocate.

The state-wide Advocate published a mix of local, state, national, and international news; social announcements; cartoons; sports and entertainment news, general interest articles; editorials; and advertisements geared towards its African American readership. One local event, that also made national headlines in 1948 and 1949, was the murder of local barber John E. Conic and the subsequent trial of Lonnie James Nichols who was convicted of the crime. International news often focused on the struggle for racial equality for blacks in African nations. Percy Greene's weekly column "Up and Down Farish Street" reflected the middle-class values of this vibrant, black neighborhood. Many advertisements were for Farish street businesses although ads for white-owned enterprises increased over time.

In the 1940s, as commercial papers began to replace those published by religious and fraternal groups, the Jackson Advocate was considered by many white citizens as being more radical than some of the other Black-owned newspapers due to Greene's support of voting rights for people of color. It was the most significant black political paper in Mississippi during World War II. Later, however, Percy Greene editorials reflected his conservative views and acceptance of Booker T. Washington's accommodationist, self-help philosophy. While Greene advocated for equal education and economic opportunities for African Americans, he conversely supported racially segregated institutions. His claimed that African Americans created their own problems, while simultaneously highlighting black achievements and advocating for what he considered to be moral behavior. He opposed the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education decision and the desegregation agenda of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as well as a number of more locally known civil rights organizations and leaders.From the mid-50s through the 60s, he accepted funding from the state-run organization that upheld white supremacy, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which used the Advocate as an agent for promoting racial segregation. His association with the Sovereignty Commission, anti-civil rights views, and failure to confront the state-wide institutionalized racism against African American residents damaged his paper's credibility among his intended audience and led to the Advocate's decline.

A year after Percy Greene's death in 1977, civil rights activist, Charles Tisdale, purchased the nearly defunct Jackson Advocate and wrote editorials ideologically opposite to those expressed by its former owner/editor. Unlike Greene, Tisdale was not afraid to challenge the existing status quo of white supremacy, he and unflinchingly reported on retaliatory actions against African Americans. Tisdale's widow, Alice, took over the newspaper upon his death in 2007 and continues to publish it as a weekly.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History