Oral history interview with Al Sweeny, 1972


Sweeny, Al (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Al Sweeny, 1972
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Al Sweeny : oral history, 1972; Oral history of Al Sweeny, 1972
Henry La Brie's 1972 interview with Al Sweeny begins with an overview of the latter's education and journalistic experience, including his coverage of historic events related to desegregation and the civil rights movement as a reporter. Sweeny discusses his role in city government and politics. La Brie asks Sweeny what stories make news and about the future prospects for the black press and the rel ationship between the white and black press. They discuss the specific accomplishments of the black press, advertising and circulation as its sources of revenue, and the black press's role in politics. The conversation turns to the prospect of a black national news service, the sensationalism of the black newspapers, and which section of a black newspaper is most important. Sweeny discusses the specific techniques in crafting a newspaper to make it more appealing to readers. La Brie asks if black readers trust white papers, if in Sweeny's view the number of black dailies will increase, and Sweeny's first encounters with the black press.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalism--Social aspects; Journalism--Political aspects; Journalists; African Americans--Civil rights; African American press; African American journalists; Baltimore (Md.); United States Race relations; Sweeny, Al; Afro-American (Baltimore, Md. : National ed.)
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 40 pages
Note (Biographical)
Al Sweeny was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1918. He attended Wilberforce University and did graduate work in economics at Case Western Reserve University. He began his career as a journalist doing freelance work for the Call & Post and Cleveland Herald . Later, he covered a variety of stories for the Washington Afro-American, where he covered the civil rights movement as it unfolded.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on June 22, 1972.
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.