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The Rise and Fall of the Associated Negro Press

Claude Barnett’s Pan-African News and the Jim Crow Paradox

Publisher, diplomat, activist--the astonishing story of the first African American press baron

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.

"The Rise and Fall of the Associated Negro Press is a brilliant model for writing black transnational history and for appreciating the contradictory results of desegregation for mid-twentieth century African American media, black freedom, and Pan-Africanism."--Erik S. McDuffie, author of Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism

"This brilliant and masterfully written work broadens understandings of the vital work and historical agency of the black press, in particular the domestic and international coverage and political relationships forged by the Associated Negro Press and its astute and complicated founder Claude Barnett."--Taj Frazier, author of The East Is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination


Gerald Horne is the John J. and Rebecca Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His many books include Black Revolutionary: William Patterson and the Globalization of the African American Freedom Struggle. He is a recipient of the Ida B. Wells and Cheikh Anta Diop Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Leadership in Africana Studies.

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