Washburn shares Black history


Patrick Washburn, the author of "A Question of Sedition: The Federal Government's Investigation of the Black Press During World War II," discussed the suppression of the civil rights movement during World War II at a talk he delivered Feb. 13 in Yeager Recital Hall.

Washburn's book was cited by Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly as one of the 35 most significant mass communications books published in the 20th century. The book is a pioneering work on the topic of the African-American press, a subject which had received little attention before he shared his research.

Part of his work deals with an FBI report on investigations of African-American newspapers during World War II. At that time, according to Washburn, African-American newspapers with large circulations existed in most major cities. Many of their editorials, advocating civil rights, were later championed by civil rights groups in the 1960s.

Washburn, a professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, was an adviser and interview subject for the PBS television documentary, "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords." In 2000, this documentary won the DuPont/Columbia Award, the highest honor given in broadcasting.



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