The New York Amsterdam News is an American weekly newspaper geared to the African-American community of New York City, New York. It is one of the oldest African-American newspapers in the United States.
|New York Amsterdam News|
|Format||Tabloid weekly newspaper|
|Founder(s)||James Henry Anderson|
|Managing editors||Kristin Fayne-Mulroy|
|Founded||December 4, 1909|
|Political alignment||Black nationalism|
|Headquarters||New York, NY, United States|
The Amsterdam News was founded on December 4, 1909, and is headquartered in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. The newspaper takes its name from its original location one block east of Amsterdam Avenue, at West 65th Street and Broadway.
An investment of $10 nearly 105 years ago turned the Amsterdam News into one of New York's largest and most influential black-owned-and-operated business institutions, and one of the nation's most prominent ethnic publications.
On December 4, 1909, James H. Anderson put out the first issue of the Amsterdam News. He had $10 in his pocket, six sheets of paper, a lead pencil and a dressmaker's table.
The Amsterdam News was one of only 50 black-owned newspapers in the United States at that time, and it was sold for 2 cents a copy from Anderson's home at 132 West 65th Street, in the San Juan Hill section of Manhattan's Upper West Side. With the spread of Blacks to Harlem and the growing success of the paper, Anderson moved the Amsterdam News uptown to 17 West 135th Street in 1910. In 1916, it moved to 2293 Seventh Avenue, and in 1938, it moved again, to 2271 Seventh Avenue. In the early 1940s, the paper relocated to its present headquarters at 2340 Eighth Avenue (also known in Harlem as Frederick Douglass Boulevard).
Not soon after the death of Edward Warren, one of the early publishers, Anderson sold his stock in the paper. In 1935, after many years of struggle, the paper was sold to the Powell Savory Corporation, then owned by two of the nations foremost Black entrepreneurs, Dr. C.B. Powell and Dr. Phillip M.H. Savory. Dr. Powell assumed the role of publisher.
During Powell's stewardship, the Amsterdam News not only took on local news, but national news as well. Much of the paper's strength was based on its shaping the advancement and realization of Black aspirations. As a consequence, the paper is one of the most frequently quoted black newspapers in the world.
The Amsterdam News, in its more-than-100-year history, has had many significant innovations. It was the second black newspaper, after the Chicago Defender, to be admitted to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) in October 1930, of which it is still a member. In 1936, it became the first—and, to this day, the only—black newspaper that was unionized in all departments by the Newspaper Guild of New York, Local 3. By 1961, the New York Amsterdam News had become the largest weekly community newspaper in the nation.
On May 1, 1971, Dr. C. B. Powell announced his retirement and sold the Amsterdam News to the AmNews Corporation, its present owner. Over the years, many important figures in journalism have been editors of the paper, including T. Thomas Fortune, George W. Harris, Obie McCollum, John Lewis Clarke, Earl Brown, Dan Burley, Julius J. Adams, Thomas Watkins, S. W. Garlington, Stanley Ross, T. J. Sellers, Dr. G. James Fleming, James L. Hicks, Jesse H. Walker and Bryant Rollins.
While the Amsterdam News is black-oriented, it has always been aware of the fact that it serves a multiracial community and recognized other ethnic groups. On November 26, 1963, The New York Times credited the Amsterdam News with inspiring a crackdown on vices and other ills in the village of Harlem. "The Amsterdam News has always had a great deal of persuasive power in Harlem and other black communities," the Times wrote.From 1972-1979, the newspaper began an Art Review column written by Gylbert Coker to cover African American art exhibitions and the African American artists.
In August 1982, Wilbert A. Tatum, chairman of the AmNews Corporation's board of directors and the paper's editor-in-chief, became publisher and chief executive officer. Under Tatum's leadership, the Amsterdam News broadened its editorial perspective, particularly in international affairs. This expanded thrust has produced considerable interest and readership from all sectors of the local, national and international communities.
In July 1996, Tatum bought out the last remaining investor, putting the future of the paper firmly in the hands of the Tatum family. In December 1997, Tatum stepped down as publisher and editor-in-chief and passed the torch to his daughter, Elinor Ruth Tatum, who at the age of 26 became one of the youngest newspaper publishers in the United States.
Wilbert Tatum passed died in 2009, while Elinor Tatum currently serves as publisher, editor-in-chief and CEO. The newspaper launched a companion Web site and online edition, amsterdamnews.com, in 2009.
In October 1930, it became the second Black newspaper to be admitted to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. At its height in the 1940s, newspaper had a circulation of 100,000 and was one of the four largest African-American newspapers in the U.S. As of 2015, it circulates nearly 15,000 copies of the paper weekly.