520 S. 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

South Philadelphia

newspaper, "black owned enterprise"


The Philadelphia Tribune is the oldest African American newspaper.  The Tribune was founded in 1884 by Christopher Perry.  Perry was born in Baltimore, MD.  He grew up in Philadelphia and began writing for newspapers when he was 13 years old and he became editor.  He was 30 when he set up the Tribune at 717 Sansom St.  Everything was lost in a fire.  He started over at 520 S. 16th St. where the paper remains today.  After Perry died in 1921 at age 67, the publisher’s job was passed to his son-in-law, E. Washington Rhodes.  Rhodes ran the Tribune for 49- years and it became the campaign for needed Black representation.  Few African Americans were literate at that time, but those that were could pass the word.   The Tribune made the appointment of the 1st Black Philadelphia Board of Education member and the election of the 1st Black to City Council and to judgeships.  The paper also helped in the 1934 race riots.  It joined with Black Organizations to sponsor Clean Block campaigns and raise funds for the United Way.  The Tribune’s mission has not changed much.  For 125 years, the Tribune has been the voice of those who would have been voiceless.  The Tribune celebrated its 125th anniversary on Monday June 1, 2010.  The Tribune has always believed in prayer and had faith that the lord would take care of them.  The Tribune has always been known for advocating black cause, rights and recognition.

While visiting the Tribune I could still feel the sense of pride that the African American employees had.  Everyone that I had the pleasure of meeting was extremely polite.  They had no problem showing me around and explaining the history behind the paper.  Of course the employees are not the original employees from 1884; they were still knowledgeable about the history behind the newspaper.  Some things have been remodeled in the building but there were still some old printers around and many articles with the paper’s history.  As far as the employees of the Tribune are concerned the Tribune is here to stay and will be around for many more years to come.

admin, oshawill



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