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The Wisconsin weekly blade. [volume] : (Madison, Wis.) 1916-1925
Alternative Titles:
  • Wisconsin blade
Place of publication:
Madison, Wis.
Geographic coverage:
  • Madison, Dane, Wisconsin  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
[publisher not identified]
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in Jan. 1925.
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 8, 1916)-
  • English
  • African Americans--Wisconsin.
  • African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
  • Madison (Wis.)--Newspapers.
  • Wisconsin--Madison.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205840
  • Wisconsin.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204595
  • " ... speaking to and for many thousand colored citizens."
  • "A national journal of opinion and circulation."
  • "Member National Negro Press Association."
  • "Official organ of Odd Fellows and Household of Ruth. Illinois and Wisconsin jurisdiction. 7,000 members."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editor: June 8-Sept. 7, 1916, Z.P. Smith; June 6-<Sept. 2, 1922>, J.A. Josey; <Oct. 24, 1918-Sept. 2, 1922> G.H. De Reef.
  • Title varies slightly.
sn 84025842
Succeeding Titles:
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The Wisconsin weekly blade. [volume] June 8, 1916 , Image 1


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Wisconsin Weekly Blade

The Wisconsin Weekly Blade was published from 1916 to 1925 and was the first African American newspaper in Madison. It was run by Jarius (J.) Anthony Josey, an Augusta, Georgia native. After attending Atlanta University and gaining journalistic experience as co-editor of the Atlanta Independent, Josey moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1905. Here, he eventually attended law school at the University of Wisconsin and helped found the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, one of the state's oldest, predominately African American congregations, in 1911.

Although the state capital's African American community more than doubled between 1910 and 1930, existing local newspapers paid little attention to it. Josey started the Blade to change that. Run out of his own house, Josey's newspaper focused on the social and political lives of African American Madisonians and Wisconsinites.

The Blade was a Republican publication and covered many social justice issues, including criticism of African American enlistment during World War I, racial bias in other local newspapers, and advocacy for Black women's rights. The newspaper also became a medium to promote local African American businesses and served as the official press organ for the orders of Odd Fellows and Household of Ruth in both Wisconsin and Illinois.

Throughout the Blade's existence, a variety of other community members, including Reverend Zachary Smith, L.J. Ousley, and attorney George De Reef, contributed to the publication as co-editors. In 1925, Josey moved to Milwaukee where he merged the Blade with the previously irregularly published Milwaukee newspaper Milwaukee Enterprise to form the Wisconsin Enterprise-Blade.

Provided by: Wisconsin Historical Society