Guide to African American Experience in Missouri


The Society's newspaper collection contains about 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 served as the home of African American newspapers.

In these newspapers, researchers can find national and local news of interest to the African American community and prominently featured 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.

Religious African American newspapers among the Society's holdings 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 in SHSMO Holdings

County City Title Also Available On Date Range
Boone Columbia Blackout Microfilm Nov 20, 1969
Boone Columbia Professional World Microfilm 1901-1903; 1909 (incomplete)
Cole Jefferson City The Lincoln Clarion Microfilm 1935-1975
Cole Jefferson City Western Messenger Microfilm 1914-1916
Greene Springfield The American Negro Hard Copy Only Oct 25, 1890
Jackson Kansas City American Microfilm 1928-1933
Jackson Kansas City Baptist Record Microfilm 1921 (incomplete)
Jackson Kansas City Call Microfilm 1922-Present
Jackson Kansas City Globe Microfilm 1994-Present (some earlier)
Jackson Kansas City Inter-State Herald Microfilm 1903-1904 (incomplete)
Jackson Kansas City Liberator Microfilm 1903
Jackson Kansas City Missouri State Post Microfilm 1987-1988; 1990-1992 (incomplete)
Jackson Kansas City Rising Son Microfilm 1903-1907
Jackson Kansas City Son Microfilm Dec 7, 1912
Jackson Kansas City Sun Microfilm 1914-1924
Jackson Kansas City Western Christian Recorder Microfilm 1911-1915
Jackson Kansas City Western Messenger Microfilm 1918-1920 (incomplete)
Jasper Jopin Uplift Hard Copy Only May 24, 1928
Jasper Jopin The Joplin-Springfield Uplift Hard Copy Only Apr 11, 1930
Marion Hannibal Home Protective Record Microfilm 1914 (some single issues)
Mississippi Charleston Spokesman Microfilm Aug 1934 (incomplete)
Pemiscot Caruthersville The Anchor Microfilm Jul-Aug 1921 (incomplete)
Pettis Sedalia Weekly Conservator Microfilm 1905-1908 (incomplete)
Pettis Sedalia U.B.F. and S.M.T. Searchlight Hard Copy Only Oct 8, 1910
Pettis Sedalia The Searchlight Hard Copy Only Feb 28, 1914
Pettis Sedalia Times Microfilm 1901-1903; 1905 (incomplete)
Scott Sikeston Southeast Missouri World Microfilm Nov 25, 1939
Scott Sikeston Southern Sun Hard Copy Only 1954 (some single issues)
St. Louis American Microfilm 1949-Present
St. Louis The American Eagle Hard Copy Only Dec 17, 1905; Aug 11, 1906
St. Louis Argus Microfilm 1915-1997 (incomplete)
St. Louis St. Louis Evening Whirl Hard Copy Only 2013-Present (some earlier)
St. Louis St. Louis Advance Hard Copy Only Jun 13, 1908
St. Louis Sentinel Microfilm 1968-2002
St. Louis Western Messenger Microfilm 1916-1917 (incomplete)