Footprints of My Ancestors: The Real Legacy of the Chicago Defender
By Myiti Sengstacke-Rice
Today is officially the first week that the Chicago Defender Newspaper has not printed in over 114 years. The headline, “Legendary Black Newspaper Prints Last Copy” hit me like a ton of bricks last week. Those few words carry the weight of a century. I am heartbroken, yet I continue to work daily to carry this legacy forward for our next generation.
Robert S. Abbott (founder,1905) and his successor, John H. H. Sengstacke, publishers of the Chicago Defender, carried a purpose and commitment greater than themselves. Their advocacy for justice and the determination to be a voice for those who were unheard is why the Chicago Defender had such a major impact. They were the ‘fire in the belly’ type of publishers that would merit the continued printing of a daily newspaper even in today’s digital age.