Oral history interview with E. L. Goodwin, Sr., 1971


Goodwin, E. L., Sr (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with E. L. Goodwin, Sr., 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of E. L. Goodwin, Sr. : oral history, 1971; Oral history of E. L. Goodwin, Sr., 1971
E. L. Goodwin, Sr. discusses: his family's migration from Mississippi to Oklahoma; his education; his involvement in a variety of business ventures; and his experience as the first black case worker in Oklahoma's state welfare department. Additionally, he reflects on his involvement in illegal gambling and bootlegging prior to purchasing The Oklahoma Eagle. Goodwin discusses his motivation for the paper to uplift the black community and educate them on their rights as American citizens; the Eagle's masthead reads "WE MAKE AMERICA BETTER WHEN WE AID OUR PEOPLE." He expresses his beliefs about the critical role the black press played in abolishing slavery, informing the black community of injustices, and in shaping public opinion for social change. Additionally Goodwin describes the importance of the editorial page, maintaining the interest of the readers, and the current place of the black press as a supplement to the white press.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalists; African American press; African American journalists; African Americans--Civil rights; Journalism--Political aspects; United States Race relations; Tulsa (Okla.); Goodwin, E. L., Sr; The Oklahoma eagle
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 38 pages
Note (Biographical)
Edward Lawrence (E. L.) Goodwin, Sr. (1902-1978) was born in Water Valley, Mississippi to James Henri Goodwin and Carlie Greer Goodwin. At age ten, Goodwin moved with his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended Booker T. Washington High School and Fisk University. At Fisk, he played football and earned his degree in business administration. Goodwin ran a show store, a haberdashery, and worked as a caseworker for the Tulsa County state welfare department before purchasing The Oklahoma Eagle in 1936. There he wrote editorials and promoted education for Tulsa's black citizens. Later in life Goodwin completed law school at the University of Tulsa, and subsequently opened a law practice with Charles Owen, who was later elected to the judiciary. Goodwin received an honorary law degree from Oral Roberts University, and a citation for his work with the Community Chest campaign, a forerunner of the United Way. Additionally he was inducted into Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and the Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame. After retiring from law and journalism, Goodwin opened a catfish farm. Goodwin and his wife, Jeanne Osby Goodwin, had eight children.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on August 12, 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.