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Find primary sources on Dallas history with an African American perspective

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The details are never so vivid nor the facts more accurate than timely accounts of events soon after they've occurred. Newspapers serve as a primary resource for researchers who want to know the actions, opinions, and perspectives of people who were there as an event unfolded, just as much as law enforcement wants reliable witnesses and evidence when pursuing perpetrators of a crime. And getting the right perspective from people that a reader can trust is important to the public and to the community.

So for the Black community in Dallas, The Dallas Express delivered that promise. The Express was considered to be the largest African American newspaper in the South. W. E. King began publishing the weekly newspaper in 1893.

The Dallas Express always dealt with issues important to the African American community, from incidents of violence against Blacks to poll taxes and civil rights. After King's death in 1919, various individuals served as the paper's editor, including Antonio Maceo Smith. The paper even fell into white ownership briefly during the Great Depression, but the buyer only did so to guarantee the paper's continuance through hard times.

In 1970, Houston publisher Carter Wesley purchased The Dallas Express with plans to bring the paper to the African American community in Houston, but he never followed through, and The Express ceased publication later that year.

The Library of Congress began microfilming the newspaper in 1947 and The Dallas Express is available on microfilm at The University of Texas at Arlington. UTA has holdings cover 1947-1963 and from 1965-1970.

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