The Pittsburgh Courier

Four boys outside Courier

Four boys outside Courier

The Pittsburgh Courier was established in 1907 by Edwin Harleston, a security guard and writer. The newspaper gained fame after Robert Lee Vann took over the paper in 1910 and eventually became the nations most widely circulated black newspaper at almost 200,000.

The Courier was always an organ for the wellbeing of the average African-American. It would call for housing improvements and the opening of black hospitals. The Pittsburgh Courier also sought to improve the black peoples’ financial and political skills. 

They encouraged their readers to support black organizations such as the National Urban League and the NAACP. The newspaper stressed an active role in one’s financial and political life. The editor aided in the shifting of black allegiance from the Republican party to FDR and his democratic party.

The paper was also one of the first black newspapers to offer local and national editions. The paper was also a means to protest the negative portrayals of blacks in the media, such as in popular shows like Amos ‘n’ Andy.

The Courier also helped to spearhead the “Double V” campaign. The Double V campaign called that all African-Americans who risked thier lives overseas receive full citizenship rights. They printed articles, pictures, editorials and letters. Many other papers endorsed the campaign, making it a national effort. The Courier’s circulation declined during the ’50s and ’60s, and was sold to John Sengstacke in 1965. Now the Pittsburgh Courier is published under the name “The New Pittsburgh Courier.”