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Louisiana Weekly 1925- | Amistad Research Center

Name: Louisiana Weekly 1925-
Variant Name: New Orleans Herald

Historical Note:

The Louisiana Weekly was founded by New Orleans African American community leaders, Orlando Capitola Ward Taylor and Constant C. Dejoie Sr. in 1925. The newspaper began during a time of frequent brutality and prejudice against African Americans and other people of color and has been hailed throughout its history as one of the most dynamic outlets for issues of importance to the African American community in the southern United States.

O.C.W. Taylor was a former teacher of the New Orleans Public School system and C.C. Dejoie was President of the Unity Industrial Life Insurance Company. The Weekly’s original headquarters was at 303 Pythan Temple Building. Dejoie used his business entrepreneurial skills and persuaded insurance agents to sell subscriptions and copies of the publication, as well as their contacts in the community to relay stories and issues of importance to the African American community.

The first two issues of the newspaper appeared under the title of The New Orleans Herald. The first issue, which appeared on September 19, 1925, chronicled the life of educator and singer Professor John Wesley Work. Beginning with the October 10 issue, the publication ran under the Louisiana Weekly title. The annual subscription rate of the newspaper was two dollars, with six-month, one-month, and one-issue rates available at $1.25, 20 cents, and five cents, respectively. Those rates, coupled with the perceived need for a Black newspaper to chronicle the challenges, triumphs, and concerns to communities of color, were responsible for the phenomenal growth The Louisiana Weekly experienced during its first month of operation. By October 17, 1925, the newspaper had 4,500 subscribers, which its founders called a “record in Negro Journalism.”

Taylor left the publication in August 1927. Joseph “Scoop” Jones, who served as a Louisiana Weekly newsboy, reporter, columnist, and photographer, was considered to be one of the publication’s earliest and most talented journalists. For many decades, the Weekly has served as one of the few credible sources of information about people of color in Southern Louisiana. A member of the Black Press, the newspaper chronicled national and local events such as President Harry Truman’s integration of the United States Armed Forces, the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, the Black Power movement, the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, and others. It has provided a forum for national and international figures like W.E.B. Du Bois, A. Phillip Randolph, Whitney Young, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

As time passed, C.C. Dejoie’s son, Henry Sr., a World War II veteran and Dillard University graduate, continued the legacy of President and publisher of The Louisiana Weekly. He worked at an early age for the publication, assisted the family-owned business by distributing papers and working in the circulation department. During the mid-1940s, he gave his position to his brother C.C. Dejoie, Jr. while serving in World War II. With Henry Sr.’s service in the war, the Weekly provided invaluable information about the experiences of Black soldiers during World War II. Henry Sr. died at the age of 82 on December 31, 2007, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

After decades in the Central Business District of New Orleans, The Louisiana Weekly moved to Pelopidas Street in the Gentilly neighborhood in 2001. When that area experienced heavy flooding following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the paper published online beginning in September 2005 in order to continue to disseminate information about New Orleans and its residents in the wake of the storm. With Executive Editor Renette Dejoie-Hall operating out of Houston, Texas, the paper began publishing hard copies again in October. The Weekly’s location did not receive any damage from flood waters and was able to re-open in July 2006 with a much reduced staff. The Louisiana Weekly continues to publish in its regular format and provide a voice to Africans Americans in Louisiana, as well as throughout the United States.


Louisiana Weekly website (http://lousianaweekly.com). Accessed March 2012.

Ingham and Feldman. African-American Business Leaders. (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994).

Note Author: Theresa L. Butler

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