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Oral History


Acc #: 270; JLFC 003

In this recording, Frank P. Thomas Jr. is interviewed by Melton McLaurin to discuss Black newspapers in Alabama, and the history of Mobile. The interview begins with Mr. Thomas discussing his career in the newspaper field, beginning in childhood as a carrier for the Birmingham Herald, on through his experiences editing the school newspaper while attending Stillman College. Mr. Thomas describes founding the Mobile Weekly Review, and later the Mobile Beacon, within the context of a legacy of Black newspapers in Mobile that date back to the 19th century. In that vein, he reflects on the importance of the role and legacy of Black newspapers in terms of serving the Black community, as well as in terms of the fight for racial equality and justice. He cites John LeFlore’s work to defend Willie Seals as an example. Mr. Thomas also relates his views on Governor George Wallace and his political ambitions. He reflects, as well, on the roles of the NAACP, the SCLC, and the NOW movement in terms of effecting change in Mobile.

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