Southern Courier Records, 1965-1967


The Southern Courier, a weekly newspaper, began publication on July 16, 1965 in Atlanta, Georgia. The paper was conceived by six Harvard-Radcliffe students during the summer of 1964 while they were civil rights workers in the South. They were convinced by their own experience that there was no objective newspaper which reached the Negro or gave full and fair reports on life in the South. It began as a full-size, six-page paper with a volume of 15,000 copies. The staff were all recent graduates or students of journalism, who received $2O a week plus subsistence expenses while on assignments. The original idea of an edition for each of five Southern states had to be limited to only an Alabama issue, and after publishing six weeks in Atlanta (the office had been established there in the spring), the paper's editorial office was moved to Montgomery, Alabama. By 1967, the weekly circulation had reached approximately 24,000 after many financial difficulties, a Ford Foundation grant, and praise from prominent newspapers and reporters.