The Crusader Newspaper Group

The legacy of The Chicago Crusader: a beacon for Black Chicagoans

The Legacy of the Chicago Crusader

Established in 1940 as “The Crusader,” The Chicago Crusader newspaper has been an institution in the City of Chicago for over 80 years. The weekly publication, founded by Balm L. Leavell and Joseph H. Jefferson, has remained dedicated to covering news and topics relevant to Black Chicagoans.

After Leavell’s passing in 1968, his wife, Dorothy R. Leavell, took over operations and has led the paper’s publishing ever since. Today, The Chicago Crusader continues to reach an audience of just under 500,000 readers and is the longest-running African-American paper in the city.

With a history dating back to 1827, when Freedom’s Journal became the first Black publication in the United States, the Black Press has always been a vital part of the African-American community. In modern times, there have been rumors of the Black Press’ demise, but publications like The Chicago Crusader have proven resilient, relevant, and revered.

Dorothy R. Leavell attributes the continued success of The Chicago Crusader to its connection with the community and the service it provides in sharing all the stories of the City of Chicago. As a trusted source of news and information, the newspaper has played a critical role in amplifying the voices and experiences of Black Chicagoans, from covering civil rights struggles to profiling local leaders and entrepreneurs.

As the city continues to change and evolve, The Chicago Crusader remains a beacon for Black Chicagoans, providing a space for community members to share their stories and perspectives. Its legacy is a testament to the power of the Black Press and the importance of representation in media.

In a time when media consolidation and the rise of digital media have led to the decline of many print publications, The Chicago Crusader’s enduring presence is a reminder that there is still value in local journalism and community-focused storytelling.

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