William Monroe Trotter, George Forbes
William Monroe Trotter
William Monroe Trotter
The Boston Guardian was an African-American newspaper, co-founded by William Monroe Trotter and George Forbes in 1901 in Boston, Massachusetts.
3 2016 publication
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
The Guardian was founded in November 1901 and published in the same building that had once housed William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator. In March 1901, Trotter helped organize the Boston Literary and Historical Association, a forum for militant race opinion.
The paper enjoyed broad appeal with readers outside of Massachusetts, featuring news of interest to people of color from across the nation, as well as social notes, church news, sports, and fiction. Within its editorial opinion columns, Trotter often assailed the conservative accommodationist ideology of Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute.
The Guardian reached the peak of its circulation and prestige about the year 1910, roughly coinciding with the establishment of the National Association of Colored People, of which Trotter was a co-founder along with W. E. B. DuBois, et al. Trotter and Du Bois had previously joined with others in the formation of the Niagara Movement, immediate predecessor to the NAACP.
Within the pages of the Guardian, Trotter criticized the slow progress in Negro social advancement in the face of institutional racism, discriminatory practices, and de jure segregation. When Thomas Dixon’s play The Clansman (1905) was performed in Boston, the Guardian mounted a campaign that forced it from the stage. This stage production, based on Dixon’s novel of the same name, was adapted in 1915 into the film Birth of A Nation by D. W. Griffith.
With high circulation and substantial advertising revenue, the Guardian enjoyed financial success in addition to crusading for civil rights. However, when William Monroe Trotter died in 1934 of an apparent accident at his home, the Guardian had already seen its best years. The newspaper eventually ceased publication in the 1950s.
W. E. B. Du Bois attests to the influence and effectiveness of the Boston Guardian. In reference to W. M. Trotter’s opposition to B. T. Washington, he wrote:
This opposition began to become vocal in 1901 when two men, Monroe