Warning. Cloning this item will not retain its parent-child relationship.
The Phoenix Index
In March 1937, the Phoenix Index emerged as a voice of the African American community in Phoenix, Arizona. As reported in the Arizona Republic [LCCN: sn 83045137], the newspaper started under the management and editorship of Nelson M. Young. By 1939, Alberta Gibson took over as editor and publisher, after serving as the newspaper’s secretary treasurer from its initial publication. Reverend J. W. Gray was associate editor and wrote “sermonettes,” columns about the Bible, and inspirational commentary until he left the newspaper by the end of 1941. The weekly was published every Saturday with alternating slogans next to the masthead, from “A progressive paper of a progressive race in a progressive city” to “Shedding light for a growing race.” Additionally, the editorial page listed two slogans throughout the newspaper’s publication: “A Paper with a Purpose” and “Don’t Spend Your Money Where Your People Are Not Welcome.”
The newspaper’s platform was printed in every issue: “1. To give to the colored people a race paper that they can feel proud of and in which they may express their views on, all political, social, religious and economic questions which face the race. 2. To awaken racial conscience, especially in business, to the extent that we must become job makers as well as job seekers. 3. To instruct boys and girls in the art of thrift. 4. To promote the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. 5. To build a firmer racial foundation for posterity.”
The newspaper sometimes published headlines above the masthead to grab readers’ attention and emphasize particular stories. The front page often focused on national and international news, with local stories mixed in. The paper kept readers informed not only about racially-focused crimes, but also about early civil rights efforts. It contained commentary on politics, such as President Wilson’s and President Roosevelt’s policies, and news of the early years of World War II and African Americans in the military. Regular columns included “Slants on Sports,” “News of the Theatres,” and “World of Women,” which included fashion and health advice.
The front page of the March 15, 1941 issue included congratulations from community members, as the Phoenix Index entered its fifth year of publication: “Mrs. Editor you are doing a wonderful part in this our community” and “[the paper] is inspiring to the colored race…I do appreciate…having our own medium whereby we may express our views on religious and political affairs.”
Gibson, who was also very involved in her church, in voter registration, and in the local Democratic committee, posted a special notice in the January 30, 1943 issue of the Arizona Republic announcing that the Phoenix Index had been discontinued. For a few years between when The Arizona Gleam [LCCN: sn 95060626] ceased and the Arizona Sun [LCCN: sn 84021917] began, the Phoenix Index was the only African American newspaper published in Phoenix, Arizona.
Essay provided by University of Arizona Libraries.Dates of Publication1937-1943Frequency 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.