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Voice of the people. : (Laurel, Miss.) 19??-19??
Place of publication:
Laurel, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Laurel, Jones, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Dates of publication:
  • English
  • African Americans--Mississippi--Newspapers.
  • African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
  • Laurel (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Laurel.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206695
  • Mississippi.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207034
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 14 (June 14, 1926).
sn 89065000
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Voice of the people. June 14, 1926 , Image 1


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Voice of the People

In the last decade of the 19th century, the sparsely settled Piney Woods region in southeastern Mississippi experienced a timber boom as forests in other areas of the country were depleted. Laborers in search of a job, both black and white, flocked to the area, which includes Jones County. Several newspapers served the growing sawmill town, Laurel, one of two Jones County seats, but the area's African American citizens received little representation in the white-published journals. In March 1926, a small format, four-page weekly, the Voice of the People, was created to furnish news and information to this underserved population. It does not appear that the community was able to support a newspaper long-term: 1926 is the only year for which there are extant issues.

Leaving national and foreign news to the larger white-owned newspapers, such as the Laurel Daily Leader (1920-1930), the Voice of the People focused on information of interest to their local constituency. Routinely, announcements about visiting evangelists, revivals, and other religious and church news appeared in the newspaper. Notices on local entertainments, such as the "Colored Peoples Fair," were frequent as well. One column, "Musings by the Observer" provided editorials on everything from an assessment of the moral value of jazz to the merits of hard work and paying off debts. Marriages, births, deaths, illnesses, travel, and other personal news appeared in the "Locals" column. Later pages contained advertisements including one in the June 28, 1926 issue for vocal and music lessons by Mrs. Hattie V. McInnis. An item in the October 25, 1926 column mentioned a social given by Hattie and her husband Ulysses Simpson McInnis, an undertaker who also advertised in the Voice. Among the guests were a Mr. and Mrs. Price, who may have been James and Katie Price, parents of George and Leontyne. Both children had notable careers; George achieved the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Army, and Leontyne, once a student of Mrs. McInnis, became a world-renowned operatic soprano.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History