Annotated Bibliography Primary Sources


Roberts, Gene, and Hank Klibanoff. The Race Beat: The Press, The Civil Rights Struggle, And The Awakening Of A Nation. New York: Vintage Books, 2006. Print.
The Civil Rights movement was a long and extensive process of bringing awareness to the uncivil conditions that were a part of life in the South and for many parts of the nation for African Americans. In their book Roberts and Klibanoff approach this movement from the history of the black press. The story of the influence of the black press had many moments of great impact. But as presented in their book, the coverage of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas was one of the most important in the history of the black press and the United States. The heroics of L. Alex Wilson are described in great length in chapter 11. This research was the starting point for much of the work.

DeCosta-Willis, Miriam. Notable Black Memphians. 1st . Amherst, NY: Cambridge Press, 2008. eBook.
The background of the life of L. Alex Wilson is a very important part of the story of this unsung hero. In this encyclopedia of famous black Memphians, DeCosta-Willis includes much of Wilson’s early life in Leesburg, Florida. There are not many resources that depict the early childhood of Wilson. As a young adult he was active in the military and in teaching. He left Florida and his connection with education after his brushes with the KKK became too dangerous. After one moment when he ran from a racist group of men in Florida, he pledged to himself that he would never run again. Correnspondances through Email

Klibanoff, Hank. "Research for L. Alex Wilson." Message to Chris Waugaman. 27 Mar 2013. E-mail. Professor Hank Klibanoff is the current chair of the Journalism Department at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is co-author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book The Race Beat. He has worked in the field of journalism for many years for the Boston Globe, The Philadephia Inquirer and most recently as the managing editor of The Atlanta JournalConstitution. We contacted Professor Hank Klibanoff through a professor at the University of South Carolina. Klibanoff spoke at a Media Symposium in March. Thomas, Clarence. "Research for L. Alex Wilson." Message to Chris Waugaman. 22 Feb 2013. E-mail.

Dr. Clarence Thomas is currently a professor in the Mass Communications Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. His area of expertise is in the Black Press. His dissertation involves a study of the history of several influential journalists involved in reporting events in the civil rights movement. He spoke with us about events such as the Emmett Till trial and Little Rock. Dr. Thomas was the initial contact that was made in attempts in finding someone connect with knowledge of the press during the civil right movement. He directed us to the managing editor of the New Journal & Guide, a paper where L. Alex Wilson formerly worked. Hightower, Aaron. “Research for L. Alex Wilson.” Message to Chris Waugaman. 17 May 2013. E-mail. Aaron Hightower is the grandson of L. Alex Wilson’s sister. We made contact with him through Professor Hank Klibanoff. Hightower is a graphic designer for the Detroit News, where he wrote an article on his great uncle last year for Black History Month. His research for his article was shared in the communications. Interviews Hightower, Aaron. Internet Videoconference Interview. 17 May 2013. Klibanoff, Hank. Internet Videoconference Interview. 15 Apr 2013. Newson, Moses. Telephone Interview. 23 May 2013. Wilson, Emogene. Telephone Interview. 27 Feb 2013. Newspaper Articles Wilson, L. Alex. "Defender Editor Tells Of Attack." Tri-State Defender [Memphis] 28 09 1957, Weekly A1. Print. Editor L. Alex Wilson reported on his experiences in Little Rock on Monday, September 23, 1957 when an angry mob attacked him as he was attempting to report on the integration of Central High School. This article was a first-hand account of the events, written from his point of view. After speaking with his widow Emogene Wilson and another reporter who was with Wilson, Moses Newson, it was discovered that he wrote this in his hotel room immediately following the attack without ever seeing a doctor. He was making sure he did not miss his deadline. Staff Writer. "Newsmen Didn't Serve As Decoys." Tri-State Defender [Memphis] 5 10 1957, Weekly 1. Print.

Many people felt that the incident with the attack on Wilson was somehow an orchestrated distraction so that the students could peaceably enter while the mob was focused on something else. According to this article that was not the truth. Wilson is quoted in the article as saying that they knew the city extensively due to the fact that they had been to Little Rock several times and that their arrival and attraction of the mob with purely coincidental. Wilson’s route to the school was a different one than they police due to the fact that they couldn’t give away the plans of the police. Wilson, L. Alex. "9 Students Tell Of First Day Of School."Tri-State Defender [Memphis] 5 10 1957, Weekly 1. Print. In this article, Wilson interviews the students who were the first African American students to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Minnie Jean Brown was quoted as saying, The day was real nice, I won a number of friends.” Thomas Jefferson said, “I had a most pleasant day attending classes.” In every case the quotes were positive in nature. It was seemingly surprising given other testimony of later experiences. Staff Writer. "Letters Pour In Praising Editor."Tri-State Defender [Memphis] 5 10 1957, Weekly 1. Print. In this article, the writer explains how the Tri-State Defender has been receiving mail from all over the country praising the action of L. Alex Wilson. These letters were a prime example of how the coverage of Wilson’s attack and courageous response to the mob touched people all over the nation. Many people believe that the images of Wilson being attacked were the first steps towards an entire nation caring about the struggles of African Americans in the South. AP Wire. "Negro Pupils Withdrawn After Clash at Little Rock." Richmond TimesDispatch [Richmond] 24 9 1957, Daily 1. Print. This is one of the many national articles that illustrated how great this moment was in the nation’s history. Not only did this moment affect the people in Little Rock but it also made the front pages of newspapers across the South. Images of Wilson standing up against the racial hatred shown by the mob became an instant catalyst in mobilizing the National Guard. Fine, Benjamin. "President Threatens To Use U.S. Troops, Orders Rioters in Little Rock to Desist; Mob Compels 9 Negroes to Leave School." New York Times [New York] 24 9 1957, Late City Edition A1. Print. This is another national article that illustrated how the nation’s eyes were now on the South. Integration now was not just a issue for the South but an issue for the country. Wilson’s

image on the front page of the New York Times signified a major milestone in the fight for equality. His iconic image of courage is why Wilson is an unsung hero in this moment in history.

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