Practical Radicalism and the Great Migration

The Cultural Geography of the Scott Newspaper Syndicate

Practical Radicalism and the Great Migration

The Cultural Geography of the Scott Newspaper Syndicate

Reshaping the place of southern newspapers in the historiography of Black journalism

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This book's predecessor, The Grapevine of the Black South, emphasized the owners of the Atlanta Daily World and its operation of the Scott Newspaper Syndicate between 1931 and 1955. In a pragmatic effort to avoid racial confrontation developing from white fear, newspaper editors developed a practical radicalism that argued on the fringes of racial hegemony, saving their loudest vitriol for tyranny that was not local and thus left no stake in the game for would-be white saboteurs. Thomas Aiello reexamined historical thinking about the Depression-era Black South, the information flow of the Great Migration, the place of southern newspapers in the historiography of Black journalism, and even the ideological and philosophical underpinnings of the civil rights movement.

With Practical Radicalism and the Great Migration, Aiello continues that analysis by tracing the development and trajectory of the individual newspapers of the Syndicate, evaluating those with surviving issues, and presenting them as they existed in proximity to their Atlanta hub. In so doing, he emphasizes the thread of practical radicalism that ran through Syndicate editorial policy. Practical Radicalism and the Great Migration is a supplement to The Grapevine of the Black South, providing a fuller picture of the Scott Newspaper Syndicate and the Black press in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Practical Radicalism and the Great Migration expands our knowledge enormously of black journalism in the South. . . . Thomas Aiello shows that what southern black papers wrote was more nuanced than we have been led to believe.

—Patrick Washburn, author of The African American Newspaper: Voice of Freedom

Thomas Aiello offers new insights on often overlooked Black newspapers published mostly in the American South from the 1930s to the 1950s. Practical Radicalism and the Great Migration makes a significant contribution to southern, African American, and journalism history.

—Fred Carroll, author of Race News: Black Journalists and the Fight for Racial Justice in the Twentieth Century

About the Author/Editor

Thomas Aiello is a professor of history, Africana studies, and anthrozoology at Valdosta State University and the author of several books, including Hoops: A Cultural History of Basketball in America; The Life and Times of Louis Lomax: The Art of Deliberate Disunity; and The Grapevine of the Black South: The Scott Newspaper Syndicate in the Generation before the Civil Rights Movement (Georgia).