Oral history interview with Percival Leroy Prattis, 1971


Prattis, Percival Leroy, 1895-1980 (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Percival Leroy Prattis, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Percival Leroy Prattis : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Percival Leroy Prattis, 1971
In his 1971 interview with Henry La Brie, Percival L. Prattis discusses his path to becoming a journalist and provides an overview of the black press from its inception in 1827. He also discusses the differences between the white and black press, the role of the black press in the community as well as its role in assimilating black citizens into American society and sensitizing white Americans to t he conditions of black Americans. Prattis shares his thoughts on his contributions to the field of journalism; black ownership of black newspapers; and changes in the black press in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He shares his thoughts on what the absence of the black press would mean for American society, the establishment of a national black press, and the role of black newspapers in the lives of black Americans.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalism--Social aspects; Journalists; Editors; Journalism--Political aspects; African Americans--Civil rights; African American press; African American journalists; Pittsburgh (Pa.); United States Race relations; Prattis, Percival Leroy, 1895-1980; Chicago defender; Pittsburgh courier
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 30 pages
Note (Biographical)
Percival L. Prattis (1895 - 1980) attended the Christiansburg Industrial Institute and Hampton Institute, and graduated from Ferris Institute in Big Rapids, Michigan. He began his journalism career in 1919 at the Michigan State News (1919-1920), follo wed by work with the Chicago Defender the Associated Negro Press, the Amsterdam News, and the Pittsburgh Courier. In 1947, Prattis became the first African American journalist to be granted membership in the Senate and House. Prattis served with the Community Chest of Allegheny County, Brasher Association, the Federation of Social Services of Allegheny County, Centre Avenue YMCA, the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP, and the Urban League.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on June 15, 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
Related URLs
Available digital content for this interview.