Oral history interview with Eloise Banks, 1971


Banks, Eloise (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Eloise Banks, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Eloise Banks : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Eloise Banks, 1971
In this interview Banks discusses her family and childhood, her education, her move to Phoenix, and the origin of The Arizona Tribune. More broadly, she discusses: the strengths and weaknesses of black newspapers in the United States; the struggle to find employment as a black educator; the economic strife of black publications; and the importance of a diverse readership. Banks mentions her late hu sband Edward Banks, including his move from Huddersfield, England to Phoenix, Arizona; his work as a photographer; their collaboration in starting a newspaper; and his death in 1969. Banks details her motivation to connect African Americans in Phoenix to national issues, as a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). She concludes with a discussion of the Kerner Commission Report (Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders).
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalists; African American press; African American journalists; Newspapers--Circulation; Newspaper publishing--Economic aspects--United States; African Americans--Civil rights; Phoenix (Ariz.); Banks, Eloise; National Newspaper Publishers Association (U.S.); United States. National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders; Report
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 41 pages
Note (Biographical)
Eloise Hardison Banks Griffin (1926-2008) was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1926. She began writing poetry at age three and graduated from eighth grade at age twelve. Banks attended Crispus Attucks High School and, after graduating at age 15, enrol led at Indiana Central College (University of Indianapolis), where she studied English. After teaching English and Civics in Indiana, Banks moved west to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. In Arizona, she received her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and met her husband, Edward Banks, whom she married in 1957. Banks began teaching in the Phoenix Public School System, where she worked for over thirty years. In 1958, Banks and her husband founded The Arizona Tribune, a weekly African-American newspaper based in Phoenix. Upon her husband's death in 1969, Banks became the primary editor and publisher of The Arizona Tribune, which had an estimated circulation of 4,000 in 1971. Banks died at age 82 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on August 19, 1971.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
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Available digital content for this interview.