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About The echo. (Meridian, Miss.) 1942-1960
Meridian, Miss. (1942-1960)
- The echo. : (Meridian, Miss.) 1942-1960
- Place of publication:
- Meridian, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- Rev. R.L. Young
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 18, no. 22 (Jan. 16, 1942)-v. 23, no. 22 (Dec. 1, 1960).
- African Americans--Mississippi--Newspapers.
- African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
- Meridian (Miss.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- sn 88067047
- Preceding Titles:
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
The echo. January 16, 1942 , Image 1
The Weekly Echo and The Echo
After a sporadic post-Civil War start, the Black press in Mississippi experienced sustained growth from 1900 to 1920 with nearly 90 papers being published during that period. The next twenty-years saw a diminution of African American journals as rigid racial segregation gripped the state. The Echo and its string of two related titles (1923-60), published in the railroad town of Meridian, the seat of Alabama-border county, Lauderdale, got its start during this period of decline.
Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church minister, Roy Lee Young, began the title run with the four-page twice monthly The Echo (1923-31). The newspaper served as the, "Official Organ of the Holbrook Benevolent Association" (HBA). For a time, Young was the organization's secretary, his father Eugene Fred Young, Sr., the president, and younger brother, Eugene Fred Young, Jr., the vice-president. The goal of the Association was to provide low-cost medical care and affordable burial insurance to African Americans. Mottos, such as "render service" and "the poor man's friend," underscored the group's philanthropic principle. The initial goal of The Echo was to inform current members on the status and operation of the Association and to recruit potential members. Reverend Young wrote editorials for each issue often expounding on the direction the HBA should take.
The newspaper's purpose broadened in 1931 when Young switched to a weekly format. The better organized The Weekly Echo joined the Negro National Press Association and began publishing more national and foreign news although local news still dominated. Articles regarding racial injustice appeared regularly, including news about the Scottsboro case in Alabama and the Willie McGee trial in Laurel, Mississippi, both instances where Black men were unjustly accused of raping a white woman. One insightful editorial in the September 19, 1941 issue compared the treatment of African Americans in the United States to Hitler's treatment of Jewish people stating, "… Uncle Sam has not made any verbal statement about a super race, but practices speak even louder than words." In January 1942, when an earlier masthead graphic of a helmeted figure holding a raised sword was resurrected, the title reverted to The Echo, although it continued to be published every Friday.
By January 1947, The Echo had returned to its semi-monthly distributionafter Roy Lee Young left the newspaper upon his May 1946 election as Bishop of the Ninth District of the CME. The Larkin sisters, Mattie and Lillian, took over editorship and management, and they were still fulfilling these roles when the last known issue of The Echo was published in December 1960. They maintained the religious and patriotic tone of the newspaper, but they reduced the amount of general news. The Larkin sisters did, however, continue to publish the Tuskegee Institute annual report on lynching. The Larkin's focused on social news of east-central Mississippi African American communities and continued The Echo's role as the newspaper of the Holbrook Benevolent Association.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History