Profiling Claude Albert Barnett, Founder Of The Associated Negro Press

Profiling Claude Albert Barnett, Founder Of The Associated Negro Press


Claude Albert Barnett, a journalist, entrepreneur, and social justice advocate, founded the Associated Negro Press. Barnett attended Tuskegee University and graduated two years later with a diploma and the college’s highest award.

Barnett returned to Chicago after graduating from college with a degree in engineering and working as a postal worker. He was a voracious reader who devoured magazines and newspapers, and he was fascinated by the various advertisements in the papers.

He began marketing photographs of notable African American visionaries in black newspapers in 1913. By 1917, he had turned his vision into a successful mail-order business.

Barnett quit his post office job and began traveling to promote his photographs and beauty products to black customers. He quickly realized that these African American magazines required not only advertisements, but also reporters. Barnett founded the Associated Negro Press (ANP) in 1919, which went on to become the first international news agency for black newspapers. By 1935, the ANP was serving more than 200 newspapers and magazines across the country.

Several black journalists lobbied the United States government during World War II to recognize black journalists as official war correspondents. During this time, Barnett wrote about the negative effects of military segregation.

He also worked as a consultant to the Secretary of Agriculture to improve the deplorable living conditions of black tenant farmers. After WWII, more than 100 African newspapers were added to the ANP roster as various African countries gained independence.

By the late 1940s, Barnett had established himself as one of the world’s most influential Black visionaries. Tuskegee Institute bestowed upon him an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree in 1949. On August 2, 1967, at the age of 78, Claude Albert Barnett died at home.


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