Oral history interview with Nathaniel Williams, 1971


Williams, Nathaniel (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Nathaniel Williams, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Nathaniel Williams, oral history, 1971
Henry La Brie's 1971 interview with Nathaniel Williams begins with an overview of Williams' early life, education, and professional experience. Next, La Brie asks Williams what types of stories are newsworthy, if he has thought his newspapers as being black, how black newspapers have changed over time, and if and how the black press has failed or succeeded. They discuss the distinguishing features, future, and ownership of the black press. Williams talks about his first encounters with the black press, how to measure a black newspaper's success, and the differences between the black and white press. La Brie asks about the black press as a political vehicle, advertising in black newspapers, and if black readers trust black newspapers more than white ones. They discuss why readers buy black newspapers, if black newspapers should target white readers, and if the black press is effective as a voice of protest. Williams explains why more black dailies and a black wire service are needed. After discussions of differences between the black press in the North and South and black newspapers' reliance on advertising and circulation, the interview concludes with La Brie asking if white establishment newspapers have been more representative in coverage of minority affairs since the Kerner Commission Report.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalism--Political aspects; Journalism--Social aspects; Journalists; African Americans--Civil rights; African American press; African American journalists; Memphis (Tenn.); United States Race relations; Williams, Nathaniel; United States. National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders; Report; Pittsburgh courier
oral histories
Physical Description
1 sound file (180 min.) : WAV files (44 kHz, 16 bit); 74 pages
Note (Biographical)
Nathaniel Williams was born in 1907 in Memphis. He had more than four decades of experience teaching social studies at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis and ran an amateur night program on local radio. In the 1930s, he wrote columns for the Memphis World and Pittsburgh Courier.
Note (Funding)
Digital reproduction funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on July 28, 1971.
Interview conducted by Henry La Brie for a work on the history of the African-American press.
Digitized by Safe Sound Archive, Philadelphia, 2010.
Service copy (44 kHz, 16 bit) and rendered version (96 kHz, 24 bit) of sound file derived from a digital preservation master digitized at 96 kHz, 24 bit.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
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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.