Wendell P. Dabney      

Guide to African American Resources
at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives




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Cincinnati Herald
  Since 1955, the Cincinnati Herald has been the city’s premiere African American newspaper. Gerald Porter, who had worked with the African American paper, The Independent, and published a small magazine called Talk, started the Herald to fill the void he felt was left after Wendell Dabney’s Union had ceased publication. In the early days, the paper was largely run by Porter who did most of the work in getting the paper out. Over time a small staff was hired and a new manager taken on, which helped the paper flourish. In 1963, Porter died tragically following a car accident; leaving his wife, Marjorie, with a newspaper she did not know how to run and overwhelming debts.  

Mrs. Porter was determined to continue the Herald’s success, however, and became the publisher with the help of her son, Bill Spillers. This was no small task for an African American woman without a background in publishing and with debts to pay. An offer from friend, Hartwell Parham to help her with the accounting, led to a marriage between the two. As Mrs. Parham, she and her son kept the paper going for the next several decades.

Spillers took over as publisher from his mother in 1993 and continued to keep the paper going strong. In 1996, the Herald was the sold to the African American owned SESH Communications. It continues to be one of the few voices in Cincinnati for African Americans. When asked in a February 11, 1994 interview what the Herald’s mission was, Spillers replied, “Our primary purpose as a newspaper is to take the general news as it relates to the black community and really tell the black community what that really means in the community.”

To learn more about the Cincinnati Herald, consult the following resources:

Cincinnati Herald website
Cincinnati Herald
Cincinnati Herald issues from 1961-1978 are available on microfilm, while more recent issues are available in hard copy.
Microfilm   Micro 071.771 H531m   View catalog record   Request slip
Hard copy   General 071.771 H531   View catalog record   Request slip

Sources Used for Historical Sketch:
  • Clark, Michael D. “Black Newspapers Struggle Against Odds,” Cincinnati Post, July 6, 1998, page 1B.
  • Givan, Dwight. “The Cincinnati Herald: A Portrait of an African-American Newspaper,” Cincinnati Herald, February 17, 1996, page 7.
  • McKinney, Jeff. “Herald Keeps Focus on Community,” Cincinnati Enquirer, February 22, 1993, page D1.
  • “Herald Aims to Deliver for Black Community,” Cincinnati Enquirer, April 11, 1994, page A8.


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This online guide opened on February 10, 2004.