Summary

Robert Sengstacke Abbott had a vision, purpose, and a slogan that said it all: "American race prejudice must be destroyed." In 1905, Abbott created the Chicago Defender with 25ยข and a dream in his landlady's kitchen. The Defender was a platform and voice for talents such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and W.E.B. DuBois. What began as a humble weekly grew into the largest and most influential black newspaper in the country, leading an entire race to leave the oppressive South for a better life in the North. Born in 1868 on the heels of the Reconstruction Era, Abbott--the son of former slaves--managed to influence the first two decades of the 20th century and was a major contributor to the prolific movement known as the "Great Northern Migration." Boasting a circulation of over 300,000 nationally, the Defender was secretly delivered by Pullman porters across the United States. By 1920, the paper's tagline read, "The World's Greatest Weekly." The story of the Defender is one of inspiration, struggle, triumph, and irreversible pathways being forged.