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Shortly after moving to the United States from England, Edward and Eloise Banks established the Arizona Tribune Pictorial Weekly in July 1958, with the slogan on its editorial page: “All that is needed to remedy the evils of our times is to do justice and give freedom.” Its masthead included an image of the Statue of Liberty, saguaro cacti, and the words “Truth-Justice-Liberty-Equality.” When introducing the new paper, Edward Banks described it as “[a] new pictorial weekly intelligently edited and featuring local and national Negro news which you want to read and cannot find in the daily press…Our paper is dedicated to the advancement of our race.”
Edward was the publisher-editor and Eloise the assistant editor. They each contributed to the editorial page every issue on topics such as fair employment practices and civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. Their recurring columns appeared side-by-side: “Sights and Sounds” provided readers with poetic descriptions of moments from Eloise’s life, and “Views, Previews, & Reviews” discussed politics or observations from Edward.
The weekly newspaper was usually about eight pages in length and focused heavily on local news, including profiles of local political candidates, school news, birth and marriage announcements, obituaries, recipes, and society news. As a pictorial, the Arizona Tribune was filled with photographs of community members, from children awaiting a visit from Santa Claus to high-school students being celebrated, from profiles of the Tribune’s young newspaper carriers to local entrants in beauty pageants. Regular columns included “Talented Teenager,” “Teen of the Week,” and “Coming and Going.” The “Phoenix Fun-Light” column promised to “feature the ways and means of having fun in the sun in Phoenix and surrounding spots.” The newspaper included advertisements of local businesses and published public service announcements that appeared in many newspapers in late 1950s-early 1960s urging readers “Don’t take chances – take your polio shots,” sometimes accompanied by an image of a wheelchair.
The Arizona Tribune also featured news from around the country, including news about civil rights issues, desegregation of schools, and voting rights. It also carried crime reports, a crossword puzzle, and comic strips. By July 1959, Eloise Banks incorporated the “Poetry Nook” section, which contained her poetry.
Eloise Banks took over as publisher of the Arizona Tribune after Edward died in 1969, and she was later involved in politics while still publishing the paper. Edward had run unsuccessfully as a Republican for the Arizona House, while Eloise had notable political involvement. In 1972, she was the only African American delegate from Arizona to the Republic National Convention and ran for office as a Republican for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. In 1973, she was appointed associate director of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor and at that time ceased publication of the Tribune after 15 years of circulation.
Essay provided by University of Arizona Libraries.Dates of Publication195?-197?Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationPhoenix, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.