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Naeemah Clark edits book about African Americans in mass media

Communications associate professor edits collection about how African Americans used the mass media as an advocacy tool.

Naeemah Clark, an associate professor in Elon University’s School of Communications, served as editor for the recently published book, African Americans in the History of Mass Communication: A Reader. The series of stories centers on how African Americans have used the media to educate and serve others.

Clark herself authored the chapter “The Power of Soul Brother #1: James Brown’s Crusade for Societal Change” about how the soul singer used his charisma and music to propel his advocacy efforts.

Among the other authors featured in the book is Elon Communications assistant professor Julie Lellis, who made two contributions to the volume. First, she shared her research about the public relations strategies African Americans used to encourage Durham, N.C., citizens to support black-owned businesses in "Dreaming of a Black Christmas and ‘What's best for Durham.’” She also give readers advice on using public libraries in conducting academic research in a chapter featuring contributing authors’ tips to conducting history research. 

In the same chapter, Clark encourages new historians to continue researching even when they think the story is finished.

The book includes historical research about different media from different periods in American history. In another chapter, San Francisco State associate professor Venise Wagner retells the story of Delilah Beasley, a journalist who reported on African American society to readers of the Oakland Tribune in the 1920s.  Thomas Terry, professor and head of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Utah State University, researched the Pacific Appeal, a black-owned newspaper in the mid-1800s.

African Americans in the History of Mass Communication: A Reader is published by Peter Lang Publishing and is the 13th volume in Peter Lang’s Mediating American History series. Elon Communications professor David Copeland is the general editor of the series.

Colin Donohue,
2/24/2014 2:55 PM