For nearly fifty years, the Chicago-based Associated Negro Press (ANP) fought racism at home and grew into an international news organization abroad. At its head stood founder Claude Barnett, one of the most influential African Americans of his day and a gifted, if unofficial, diplomat who forged links with figures as diverse as Jawaharlal Nehru, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Nixon.
Gerald Horne weaves Barnett's fascinating life story through a groundbreaking history of the ANP, including its deep dedication to Pan-Africanism. An activist force in journalism, Barnett also helped send doctors and teachers to Africa, advised African governments, gave priority to foreign newsgathering, and saw the African American struggle in global terms. Yet Horne also confronts Barnett's contradictions. A member of the African American elite, Barnett's sympathies with black aspirations often clashed with his ethics and a powerful desire to join the upper echelons of business and government. In the end, Barnett's activist success undid his work. Horne traces the dramatic story of the ANP's collapse as the mainstream press, retreating from Jim Crow, finally covered black issues and hired African American journalists.
Revelatory and entertaining, The Rise and Fall of the Associated Negro Press tells the story of a forgotten pioneer and the ambitious black institution he created.