BET featured a gallery of front page images from 11 historical black newspapers to commemorate Black History Month. Each image includes a caption briefly detailing the history of the paper and its current status. While viewers cannot click on any of the images to zoom in on the front pages, the gallery does a great job of highlighting the geographical diversity and long-standing presence of the Black Press in the United States.
Many scholars are taking advantage of technology and creating innovative resources on the Black Press. One of these resources is “Songs Without Words,” an excellent digital exhibit of anti-lynching drawings from late nineteenth century African American newspapers by Amanda K. Frisken, Associate Professor of American Studies at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and MA student in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Pamela Robinson. The exhibit is a digital companion to Frisken’s article “A Song Without Words: Anti-Lynching Imagery in the African American Press, 1889-1898” in the Journal of African American History.
Frisken’s work discloses the way that Black newspapers created awareness of lynching and visually combated these crimes. In so doing, “Songs Without Words” helps us to understand how the power of the visual in the nineteenth century Black Press challenges the photographs of lynched African American men and women throughout the twentieth century that served as souvenirs and mementoes.