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California Eagle Founded By An Escaped Slave Is The Oldest African American Newspapers In LA

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The California Eagle (1879–1964) was one of the oldest and longest-running African-American newspapers in Los Angeles, California and the West. It started in 1879,[1]founded by John J. Neimore, who had escaped slavery in Missouri. The editor and publisher, he first called it The Owl, then renamed it The Eagle.

 

After Charlotta Spears succeeded him as owner in 1912, she changed the name to the California Eagle. Later marrying J. B. Bass, who became editor under her, she owned and operated the paper until 1951. In the 1920s, they increased circulation to 60,000. During this period, Charlotta Bass was also active as a civil rights campaigner in Los Angeles, working to end segregation in jobs, housing and transportation.

 

The newspaper was next owned for more than a decade by Loren Miller, who had been city editor. He also worked as a civil liberties lawyer and was a leader in the community. After he sold the paper in 1964 to accept an appointment as a justice to the State Supreme Court, the publication quickly lost ground and closed that year.

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Written by PH

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