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Publication Details

The Southern indicator.

More information about this newspaper title may be available on the source website.

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: South Carolina

City: Columbia, S.C.

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 25

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 183

Earliest Date: 15 February 1913

Latest Date: 12 August 1922


Southern Indicator

The weekly Columbia Southern Indicator (1903-ca. 1925) reported on cultural, political, and religious affairs in African American communities throughout South Carolina for almost a quarter of a century. Its coverage extended from Greenville and Spartanburg, located in the Upstate region of South Carolina, to Newberry and Orangeburg in the Midlands. Its editors and reporters were community leaders with impressive credentials. Only a dozen or so issues, however, are known to have survived.  The few known facts about the Southern Indicator are primarily gleaned from the paper itself.

According to the N.W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual and Directory, theSouthern Indicatorwas established in 1903. No issues, however, are known to exist prior to 1913. Taken on the whole, the Southern Indicator depicts South Carolina’s African American communities as sober, devout, and artistically and intellectually vibrant. The paper covered extensively the historically black schools Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College, and South Carolina State College (now South Carolina State University. The activities of the South Carolina State Baptist Convention are likewise well-represented. The May 2, 1914, issue of the Indicator features an enthusiastic review of a performance by the Jenkins Orphanage Band, the Charleston-based ensemble that launched a number of influential jazz musicians, including Freddie Green, Jabbo Smith, William Alonzo “Cat� Anderson, and Rufus “Speedy� Jones. The issue for February 19, 1921, provides a summary of a lecture given by Louis Gregory on the Bahá'í faith (by coincidence, Gregory had once edited the newspaper Afro-American Citizen).

A list of the contributors to the Southern Indicator reads like a roster of Columbia’s black community leaders. Editor Nathaniel Jerome Frederick worked as an attorney and as principal of Howard School (he later edited another newspaper, the Palmetto Leader). Richard Carroll, the founder of the Colored State Fair Association, contributed to columns variously titled “Looking over the field� and “Notes by the wayside.� Sometime editor Cornelius Chapman Scott held the distinction of having been a delegate to the World’s Sunday-School Convention held in London in 1899. David F. Thompson and Henry Morris Moore, pastors for First Cavalry and Second Baptist Churches, respectively, served as contributing reporters.

Sometime in 1925, the Southern Indicator merged with another African American newspaper, the People's Recorder, and became the Recorder-indicator.  The last known issue of the Southern Indicator is dated October 11, 1924.

Provided by: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC