Black journalist T. Thomas Fortune founded the New York Age.
1884 (Mar 1)
T. Thomas Fortune founded the New York Age. Fortune, born in Florida in 1856 to mixed-race parents, was the leading Black journalist until world war I. After the civil war, he attended a Freedmen's Bureau school. Fortune's father, a tanner and shoe merchant, served several terms in the Florida legislature during reconstruction and secured for his son an appointment as page boy in the state senate. The family's political activities and close social contacts with some whites created racial animosity among other whites that eventually forced the family to move from the capital to Jacksonville, where Fortune's father became town marshal. Fortune himself went to Washington, where he attended Howard University, partly from earnings secured as a special customs agent in Delaware. After leaving Howard, he taught briefly in Florida but soon left for New York. In 1879, Fortune began his long newspaper career in New York City. He first worked at the New York Sun, one of the city's leading newspapers. He published three books, the well-known "Black and White" (1884), a historical essay on land, labor, and politics in the South, as well as "The Negro in Politics" (1885) and "Dreams of Lye" (1905). He was active in republican politics after the civil war and advocated civil rights for Blacks. Fortune closely identified with Booker T. Washington and his ideas, but in later years edited some of Marcus Garvey's Black nationalist publications. During World War I, Fortune helped establish the famous 369th Black regiment. He died in 1928.