Journal of Afroamerican Affairs Debuts With Black Press Study

Three years after the last appearance of its predecessor, the Harvard Journal of Negro Affairs, the Harvard Journal of Afroamerican Affairs has begun publication with a Spring issue entitled "The Black Press."

"With this issue I think we're well on our way towards a national audience," Le? A. Daniels '71, editor of the HJAA. said yesterday. "The old Journal of Negro Affairs was oriented towards just the Boston college community."

"The Black Press" is the result of over a year's work, begun in January 1970 when the HJAA obtained a three-year grant of $10,000 from the Phillip Graham Fund.

The HJAA also receives some subsidy from its sponsor, the Afro-American Cultural Center. According to John F. Drewry '71, the Journal of Negro Affairs, begun in 1965, was only published four times because of constant financial problems.

With these problems solved, the HJAA will be a "workshop where Black youth may present and defend their ideas and programs, which will encourage compassionate but critical reflection of the goals, the work, and the problems of black people the world over." said Drewry.

Scholars and Students

"Sometimes we'll have pieces by outside scholars, but mostly we'll get our material from students, who have a hard time getting their manuscripts published," said Daniels.

"The Black Press" features three articles by students. One, by Nell E. Painter, a graduate student, examines the history of the black press in the U.S., while another by Francesta F.Orme '71 assesses the policies and goals of current black publications. A third article by William W. Bennett Jr. '72 is a study of various Afro-American Cultural Centers.

Three other articles by black journalists discuss practical aspects of coverage of the black community, the role of blacks in television, and occupational problems of black reporters.

The issue also includes the text of a speech by FCC Commissioner Nicholas C. Johnson, which Illustrates the precarious position of all reporters, in particular blacks writing for white publications; an HJAA survey of the community orientations of leading black newspapers; and a study of the black woman as portrayed in black literature.

'Special Appeal'

"The Black Press" also carries a "special appeal to all black college students" to establish and support their own black newspapers and magazines. "We hope that the HJAA will have a kind of log-rolling effect in getting other publications started," Daniels said.

According to Daniels, the Journal has ever 1000 subscribers, and a national newsstand circulation of 4000. "For $2.50 a year, you get two issues and possibly occasional special issues on very select, esoteric topics such as, for example, the political philosophy of Martin Luther King," said Daniels.