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April 21, 2020

The Kansas City Sun - African-American Newspaper 1908-1924

You can see all the newspapers that have been collected at this link below.                                                                                                                                       
For a mere 5 cents ($1.21 in today’s conversion) you could get your hands on a copy of this weekly. According to the Library of Congress, via State Historical Society of Missouri: The weekly publication of Kansas City Sun commenced in 1908, and it soon became one of the most prominent and influential African-American newspapers in the Midwest. Nelson C. Crews purchased the Sun in 1911 and used the paper to promote his activities in the African American community. With the Sun as his vehicle, Crews helped organize a campaign to get the second hospital in Kansas City that would admit African American patients and allow black doctors to practice.
Additionally, in 1921, he “launched a crusade for improvement” of schools in the area that served African-American students. His editorials expressed his opposition to any proposals that increased segregation, and he and Charleton H. Tandy of the St. Louis Palladium were called to testify at a hearing before the Missouri House of Representatives against a bill which would require the separation of the races on public transportation. His public profile and power gave Crews a great influence in Kansas City, but it also created some vocal opponents. Crews had an ongoing public feud with William T. Washington who was the editor of the Rising Son, another African-American newspaper in Kansas City. Crews had briefly worked for the Rising Son, and Washington accused him of attempting to become a political boss of the African American community due to his many speaking engagements and the power that he wielded through his editorials. This rivalry ended in 1914 after Crews purchased the Rising Son and ousted Washington as editor.
Nelson Crews. Courtesy of the American Jazz Museum.

Even after acquiring another newspaper, Crews continued to publish the eight-page Kansas City Sun every Saturday for another decade. The last issue of the Sun appeared in 1924. Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO