Civil RightsThe Word - Media

Claude Albert Barnett

Claude Albert Barnett (1890-1967) was an influential African American journalist, entrepreneur, and civil rights activist during the early to mid-20th century. He was born on September 6, 1890, in Sanford, Florida, and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. Barnett is best known as the founder and director of the Associated Negro Press (ANP), which was established in 1919. The ANP was one of the first news services dedicated to covering events and news related to African Americans and the African diaspora. It provided news stories to African American newspapers across the United States, helping to connect the black community and disseminate information during a time when mainstream media often neglected African American perspectives.

As an advocate for civil rights, Barnett used the ANP to highlight issues of racial injustice and discrimination faced by African Americans. He also played a key role in promoting the work of black artists, writers, and intellectuals, helping to foster a sense of cultural identity and pride within the African American community.

Beyond his work with the Associated Negro Press, Barnett was involved in various other ventures to uplift and empower African Americans. He founded “Negro Achievement Week,” which later evolved into Negro History Week (now Black History Month). He also worked with Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and the Back-to-Africa movement, although he eventually distanced himself from Garvey due to ideological differences.

Throughout his life, Claude Albert Barnett worked tirelessly to challenge racial stereotypes, promote racial pride, and advocate for civil rights and social justice for African Americans. His work left a lasting impact on journalism, the civil rights movement, and the promotion of African American achievements and contributions to society. He passed away on August 7, 1967.

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