The Black press has long been a platform for Black feminists and civil rights activists, like journalist, editor and publisher Lucile H. Bluford. This book discusses the activist career undertaken by Bluford and her fight against racism and sexism. It traces the beginnings of her activism as a young reporter seeking admission to the graduate program in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and details how that battle became the catalyst for her seven-decade career as a champion of racial and gender equality.
The authors then focus on a selection of Bluford’s writings that appeared in the Kansas City Call newspaper over fifteen years, from 1968 to 1983, as examples of how she articulated a Black feminist viewpoint in her news stories and editorial commentaries on women’s rights and civil rights issues. The issues that she focused on in particular were education, health, housing, jobs, protests and solidarity. An analysis of Bluford’s writings on social, economic, and political issues and her strong opinionated views on women and African Americans in The Call demonstrates consistent themes in her writings and examines whether biases and assumptions may have influenced her writings.
Bluford used her social authority in the formidable power base of the media she owned, shaping and mobilizing a broader movement in the struggle for women’s rights and civil rights. She masked her Black feminism with a unique angle of vision as it relates to oppression, race, gender, and class. Bluford regularly used her journalistic voice in her news stories and commentaries to break down the barriers of inequalities and injustices against both women and Blacks, especially in her news coverage that the mainstream news ignored.