CLEVELAND - Throughout the month of February, NewsChannel5 anchor Danita Harris will share pieces of Cleveland's black history - the important players, businesses and events that helped shape today's diverse city.
African Americans in Cleveland were proud to finally have their own newspaper for the first time since before the Civil War. The Cleveland Gazette was founded in 1883 by four men and in 1886 it was controlled by its original managing editor, Harry C. Smith.
It was the longest-publishing African-American weekly in the U.S.., earning its nickname "The Old Reliable." In 58 years, the Gazette never missed a Saturday publication. Smith was very active and strong in his political convictions and the paper reflected that. He was against segregated schools and minstrel shows, and there were articles in the Gazette that spoke to this.
Circulation of the paper remained constant and its addresses included Euclid and Superior avenues, West 3rd Street and East 30th Street. The Gazette was a four-page format but following Smith's death in 1941, it was taken over by the Cleveland Publishing Company in 1944, with Dr. George W. Brown as managing editor, and changed to a 12-page paper.
Its final issue appeared on May 20, 1945.