Research Guides:

African American Newspapers

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The Society's newspaper collection contains thirty African American publications. The St. Louis Advance perhaps established as early as 1881, is one of the earliest known black newspapers published in Missouri. Most of the state's African American newspapers have been published in Kansas City and St. Louis, but Caruthersville, Charleston, Hannibal, Jefferson City, Joplin, Sedalia and Sikeston have also serves as the home of African American newspapers.

Researchers can find in these papers national and local news of interest to the African American community and prominently feature ads for black businesses. The Kansas City Call, established in 1919, is one of several black newspapers currently being published. At a time when many local papers printed few items of interest to the black community or omitted such coverage altogether, The Call tried to fill the gap. News about small black Missouri communities often found a place in the pages of The Call. Today its coverage is more local, highlighting Kansas city and the surrounding area.

African American newspapers among the Society's holdings directed toward a specific readership include The Western Messenger, later known as the Baptist Record, first published in Jefferson City, then in St. Louis and finally in Kansas City. The Western Christian Recorder established in 1891 as the official organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was published in Kansas City. Sedalia was the home of The Searchlight, published for the members of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of Mysterious Ten Lodge.

African American Newspapers on Microfilm

Boone County


Cole County

Jefferson City

Jackson County

Kansas City

Marion County


Mississippi County


Pettis County

St. Louis – Independent City

Scott County