Oral history interview with Lerone Bennett, Jr., 1971


Bennett, Lerone, Jr., 1928-2018 (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Lerone Bennett, Jr., 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Lerone Bennett, Jr. : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Lerone Bennett, Jr., 1971
Bennett discusses his reasons for becoming a journalist, the importance of the black press, the success of sensational news stories, the myth of an objective press, and the necessity of a free press. Bennett expresses his belief that the role of news outlets-print and visual media-is to deliver information about what is going on in local communities as well as information about the economic and pol itical structures that affect the everyday lives of constituents. Bennett also discusses: the failure of mainstream media to cover issues related to the black community and poverty; the role of the black press in covering issues that affect the black community; and the contribution the black press made to the civil rights movement and its general encouragement of political activism in the black community.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Editors; Journalists; African American press; African American journalists; African Americans--Civil rights; Bennett, Lerone, Jr., 1928-2018
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 28 pages
Note (Biographical)
Lerone Bennett, Jr. (1928-) was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on October 17, 1928 to Lerone and Alma (Reed) Bennett. He attended Jackson, Mississippi's public schools; earned a Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in 1949 where he majored in pol itical science and economics; and did some graduate study at Atlanta University (Clark Atlanta University). Bennett was editor of the newspaper and yearbook in high school and college. Professionally, Bennett worked as a reporter and City Editor with the Atlanta Daily World (1949-1953). In 1953 he joined Jet magazine as an Associate Editor, and later worked as Associate Editor and then Senior Editor for Ebony magazine. Bennett is the author of several books documenting the black experience in America, including: Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, 1619-1962; The Negro Mood; and What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. He married Gloria Sylvester in 1956 and together they have four children.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on June 7, 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
Persistent URL
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Available digital content for this interview.