A salute to the New York Amsterdam News

The New York Amsterdam News turns 100 years old on December 4, 2009 and is one of the oldest and best-known African-American publications in the country.

The New York Amsterdam News turns 100 years old on December 4, 2009 and is one of the oldest and best-known African-American publications in the country.

In 1909, when the newspaper was established by James H. Anderson, it was one of about 50 African-American newspapers existing in the United States of America. To date there are hundreds of similar publications.

James H. Anderson, born shortly after the Civil War, ran away from his farm home in South Carolina at age 12. After a stint in the navy, Anderson settled in New York and decided to try his hand at publishing a newspaper for the Black constituency. Anderson parlayed a $10 investment, six sheets of paper and two pencils into his venture, and launched one of the most influential publications in the annals of the Black press. Using his wife’s 5 x 4 – foot dressmaker’s table in the basement of his home at 135 W. 65th Street, Anderson named and produced his paper for the Amsterdam neighborhood where he lived. The Amsterdam News began life as a two-cent per copy, six-page weekly that was the mouthpiece for one of the largest Black communities in the United States.

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