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Nitty Gritty: A White Editor in Black Journalism
     

Nitty Gritty: A White Editor in Black Journalism

by Ben Burns
 

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A controversial journalist's experiences while working as editor for African American publications in Chicago.

Overview


A controversial journalist's experiences while working as editor for African American publications in Chicago.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A renegade Communist and congenital nonconformist, white journalist Burns found a home in the black press, first at the Chicago Defender in 1941, then as the founding editor of Ebony from 1945 to 1954. His absorbing memoir is full of intriguing details-how he adopted pseudonyms to mask his multiple roles or how Ebony publisher John Johnson managed to sell advertising by going to corporate leaders and challenging their reflections on race. Despite his efforts to cultivate black colleagues on the basis of shared interests beyond race, Burns could make only ``a handful'' of black friends. His own ideology was compromised when he had to write Ebony editorials claiming a far rosier picture of black America than existed. ``I was inevitably caught in a no man's land between the races,'' Burns recalls, citing numerous incidents both awkward and funny. He later went into public relations but returned in 1962 for a stint at the Defender. He concludes by blaming American racism not so much on a e lack of white empathy for blacks but on the white response of tokenism. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934110027
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
01/28/2007
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)

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