The series will conclude on August 29 with the lecture entitled “Robert Abbott and the Legendary Newspaper that Changed America.” A St. Simons Island native, Robert Abbott founded The Chicago Defender in 1905 after moving north. John Sengstacke, Abbott’s Savannah-born nephew and successor as publisher of the newspaper, will also be discussed. The Defendergrew to have the highest circulation of any African-American owned newspaper in the world. Our speaker, Ethan Michaeli, is author of the critically acclaimed book, The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America, which was named a Notable Book of 2016 by The New York Times and the Washington Post.
After earning a degree in English language and literature from the College at the University of Chicago, Michaeli worked as a copy editor and reporter at The Defender in the 1990s. He founded the Residents’ Journal, a magazine for Chicago public housing tenants, which won numerous national awards and grants. He currently lectures at the University of Chicago’s Harris Public Policy School and is senior advisor at the Goldin Institute.