Newspapers Birmingham-Pittsburgh Traveler

The Birmingham World

"standard race journal"

The Birmingham World was established in 1966 by the Scott family as one of the few black newspapers in the Birmingham area. The paper stresses education because the paper's philosophy is that its duty is to educate blacks in Birmingham.

The current editor, Joe Dixon, gave some insight on what the paper's history has been and how it has influenced the black community. Mr. Dixon started with the paper in 1987.
"The Scott family was a black family from Atlanta that owned the paper. They subsidized the newspaper when they owned it. They all worked on the newspaper--they had someone in advertising, somebody was in editorials, somebody was in photography, and somebody was in management. It was a real family business. It is hard to do this now." Deborah McDowell in her memoir, Leaving Pipe Shop, talked about the importance of the newspaper in her home. "The Birmingham World was Alabama's oldest black newspaper. Blacks turned to it for reports, announcements of community happenings and for an angle on local and national events missing from the majority paper, the Birmingham News."

The Birmingham World, similar to other black newspapers served as an alternative paper to blacks that read. They looked for what was missing from the majority paper. They needed something they could relate to. Black newspapers provided just that.

Emory Jackson, the paper's first editor, was known by his predecessors to be a warrior with a pen.

"Emory Jackson was a man that really brought this paper to where it is. He did the voting rights, he challenged Bull Connor all the way to the segregated law. He dealt with no black officers, no black firemen. Emory Jackson and this newspaper led the fight. In addition to what he did in the city of Birmingham, Emory would leave at night and go into the black belt areas and other areas of this state. He would train other blacks in the methods of getting blacks registered to vote."

"He had been a warrior, writing the stories, going out and really moving the people to better themselves economically, educationally, and spiritually. He was a strong churchman. To be honest, Emory Jackson was the newspaper, and that probably happens in most places. We don't even profess to try to live up to any of the stuff that Mr. Jackson did by way of being able to."

The Birmingham World was a strong force in the Black community in Birmingham. It provided a voice for those that were marginalized.