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The community citizen. : (New Albany, Miss.) 19??-19??
Place of publication:
New Albany, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • New Albany, Union, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.W. Jones
Dates of publication:
  • English
  • African Americans--Mississippi--Newspapers.
  • African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
  • Mississippi.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207034
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 24 (Nov. 17, 1955).
sn 88067103
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The community citizen. November 17, 1955 , Image 1


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The Community Citizen

In Union County, Alabama, the agricultural economy relied more heavily on grains than cotton. African American residents have typically made up 25 percent of the population or less since the county's creation in 1870. This low representation may explain why the one black newspaper in the county seat, New Albany, espoused ultra-conservative views. The Community Citizen masthead explained, "This is a Negro Paper Dedicated to the Maintenance of Peace, Good Will, Order, and Domestic Tranquility in Our State." Founded around 1948 by the Reverend J. W. Jones, the four-page Citizen was published on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Though publishing the newspaper was only a part-time endeavor for Jones, the newspaper lasted for at least 16 years. The last known issue of the Citizen was published in May 1964.

The Community Citizen co focused on local news of interest to its readership such as church schedules, deaths, births, marriages, and who visited whom in New Albany, Antioch, Iuka, and other northeast Mississippi towns. The newspaper was noted for its editorials, some by Jones and others reprinted from like-minded journals that supported the Jim Crow status quo and denounced integration. Letters to the editor corroborating Jones's position on racial issues were frequent. The most telling piece was the February 23, 1956 article entitled, "The Community Citizen and Its Editor Were Interviewed." The conversation was conducted by a young Jewish law student from New York, Charles Lipidary, whose mission was to "…interview the leading Negroes of Mississippi, to get their views of Segregation, Integration, and the Race Relation that exists in our State." In the interview, Jones averred, "… that the NAACP is being sponsored as a means to help the Communists to overthrow our system of government, and that they hoped to use the Negro as a tool." When asked how African Americans were treated in the state, he replied that, "… 90% of the trouble that Negroes have with white people in Mississippi is produced by the Negro himself, or is agitated by outside meddlers.…" In a separate article in the same issue, Jones acknowledged his support of the white supremacist Citizens' Council saying, "We cannot see why anyone can disagree with the policy of the Citizens Council. We join hands with the Citizens Council that we do not have integrated schools." Jones, along with other conservative black newspaper editors in the state such as Percy Greene of the Jackson Advocate and Harrison Henry Humes of the Delta Leader, received financial support from the state-run anti-integration Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History