Oral history interview with Lucile H. Bluford, 1971


Bluford, Lucile H (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Lucile H. Bluford, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Lucile H. Bluford : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Lucile H. Bluford, 1971
In this interview, Bluford discusses: her tenure at the Kansas City Call; the legal and cultural gains of the black press; her family’s move to Kansas City from Salisbury, North Carolina; her work on her high school paper; and her summer job at the Call. Bluford mentions her year at the Atlanta Daily World, after which she became a general reporter and then city editor at the Call under Frank A. Yo ung. She discusses the philosophy of Chester A. Franklin, Kansas City Call founder, and his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Bluford describes: the Call’s limited resources, citing challenges in advertising, staff, and customer feedback; her work with young black journalists; the role of the black press as a historic protest tool for social change, as well as a record-keeping tool in black communities; and the pros and cons of increasing coverage of black communities by the white media. She concludes with a conversation on Louis R. Lautier, the United Press International, and the evolving hiring practices at both the Call and the Kansas City Star.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalists; Editors; African American press; African American journalists; African American women journalists; Newspaper publishing--Economic aspects--United States; African Americans--Civil rights; Advertising--Newspapers; Kansas City (Mo.); Atlanta (Ga.); Bluford, Lucile H
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 43 pages
Note (Biographical)
Lucile H. Bluford (1911-2003) was the Editor-In-Chief of the Kansas City Call. Bluford was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, to John Henry Bluford Sr., a Professor of agriculture at North Carolina A&T University. Following the death of her mother, Bl uford moved with her family at age ten to Kansas City, Missouri. Bluford attended Lincoln High School and the University of Kansas. On summer breaks from school, Bluford worked with Chester A. Franklin and Roy Wilkins at the Kansas City Call. After graduating with a journalism degree in 1932, Bluford briefly worked at the Atlanta Daily World before returning to the Call in 1933. Bluford moved through the ranks at the paper, and replaced Franklin as Editor in 1955. Bluford filed several lawsuits against the University of Missouri School of Journalism for discrimination, and in 1989, the school awarded her an honorary degree. Bluford worked at the Call for seventy years, and passed away at age 91 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on August 11, 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.