Let Us Make Men

The Twentieth-Century Black Press and a Manly Vision for Racial Advancement

By D'Weston Haywood

352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4339-7
    Published: October 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4338-0
    Published: October 2018
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4340-3
    Published: September 2018

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Awards & distinctions

Honorable Mention, 2019 Pauli Murray Book Prize, African American Intellectual History Society

During its golden years, the twentieth-century black press was a tool of black men's leadership, public voice, and gender and identity formation. Those at the helm of black newspapers used their platforms to wage a fight for racial justice and black manhood. In a story that stretches from the turn of the twentieth century to the rise of the Black Power movement, D'Weston Haywood argues that black people's ideas, rhetoric, and protest strategies for racial advancement grew out of the quest for manhood led by black newspapers.  

This history departs from standard narratives of black protest, black men, and the black press by positioning newspapers at the intersections of gender, ideology, race, class, identity, urbanization, the public sphere, and black institutional life. Shedding crucial new light on the deep roots of African Americans' mobilizations around issues of rights and racial justice during the twentieth century, Let Us Make Men reveals the critical, complex role black male publishers played in grounding those issues in a quest to redeem black manhood.

About the Author

D'Weston Haywood is Associate Professor of History at Hunter College, City University of New York.
For more information about D'Weston Haywood, visit the Author Page.


"For readers interested in the history of the black freedom struggle, this work delivers an alternative and important view of the actors involved in producing the black press."--Library Journal, Starred Review

“Clearly articulates how gender indelibly shapes racial justice and the Black Press’ historical role in advancing it. Readers will benefit from Haywood’s careful deconstructions of the complex, and at times, competing “manly visions” offered by Black newspapermen.”--Black Perspectives

“Covers new ground on the twentieth-century African American struggle for civil rights to make important, well-crafted points about gender, race, and the media.”--Annals of Iowa

"A compelling account of the gendered discourse of the black press in the twentieth century. This work is essential for those wishing to understand the information economy, public discourse, and the ways men fashioned themselves and a larger quest for black citizenship and liberation."--Quincy T. Mills, author of Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America

"This book makes an excellent contribution to African American history, media studies, and gender history. It examines the powerful role the black press played in the African American community in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and offers us an opportunity to better define the popular limits and possibilities of manhood during the era of Jim Crow."--Malinda Lindquist, University of Minnesota