Collections Spotlight: All American News


Spanning from 1942-45, All-American news were the first newsreels produced for a black audience and were originally intended to encourage black Americans to participate in, and support the war effort, as well as to reflect an African-American perspective on world and national events.

  • All-American news [1942-08]: includes segments about a Baltimore merchant marine who survived when his ship was sunk and the Navy’s Great Lakes Band.
  • All American news III [1944-03]: includes segments about Harry McAlpin, the first African-American reporter to be given White House press credentials; Buddy Young and other athletes in competition at a track and field championship event in Chicago; and black troops fighting in the Pacific.
  • All-American news [1944-09, no. 1]: includes segments about Evelyn C. Vaughan, Red Cross program director, returning from the front, an interview about housing for African Americans, and the 92nd Infantry Division fighting in Italy.
  • All American news XII [1944-09, no. 2]: includes segments about soldiers in the 92nd Infantry Division building a landing field in Italy and a clothing drive for victims of a 1944 hurricane in Jamaica. The group holding the drive is not named, but Rev. Ethelred Brown, “secretary of this philanthropic organization” is pictured. Brown was the secretary of the Jamaica Progressive League for 20 years, beginning in 1936.
  • All American news XII [1944-11, no. 1]: includes segments about an interracial Youth Conference of Chicago high school students focused on reducing juvenile delinquency; the 38th Christmas Seal campaign of the National Tuberculosis Institute; the return of political cartoonist, Oliver Harrington from the front; and the retirement of postal executive, Alexander King on October 31, 1944.
  • All American news XII [1944-11, no. 2]: includes segments about Flournoy English, who won an award for proposing a time-saving method of production at the Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot in Kentucky; jazz musician, Earl “Fatha” Hines celebrating 20 years in show business; GIs at Camp Shanks, New Jersey playing Santa for local children; and Bishop J.A. Gregg visiting the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.
  • All-American news [1945-01, no. 1]: includes segments about Private Sidney Walker (the boxer, Beau Jack) receiving an education while in the Army; one of FDR’s Birthday Balls, annual events to raise money for polio research (this may be one of the last Birthday Balls); Fletcher Martin, war correspondent, returning to the U.S. after 22 months in the Pacific; and Dr. Roscoe Wheat receiving an award from the Boy Scouts of America, presented by C.A. Liggin.
  • All-American news [1945-01, no. 2]: includes segments about Horace Cayton‘s book, “Black Metropolis”; the Junior Police and Citizens Corps boys club in Washington D.C.; Dr. T.K. Lawless, dermatologist at Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois; Union worker, Maida Springer‘s trip to Great Britain; and the 81st West Africa Division fighting in Burma.
  • All-American news [1945-01, no. 3]: includes segments about the retirement of Mr. Lucas, steward on the President’s private railcar, who served Presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt; breaking ground for a new theater (probably the Langston Theater) at 25th Place and Benning Road in Washington, D.C.; and a party given at Midway Hall in Washington, D.C., a dormitory for African-American women working for the U.S. government.
  • All-American news [1945-02]: includes segments about two soldiers getting purple hearts; a pianist in Knoxville, Tennessee; and Dr. Howard Odum receiving the Edward Bernays Prize.
  • All-American news [1945-02-25, no. 1]: includes segments about Adam Clayton Powell speaking at Freedom Day celebration, commemorating the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of Negro History Week, discussing the achievements of African Americans.
  • All-American news [1945-02-25, no. 2]: includes segments about Jeri Smith, a pianist playing at Carnegie Hall; a service man being honored in Chicago; and filing income tax.
  • All-American news [1945-03, no. 1]: includes segments about a black tank battalion (probably the 784th Tank Battalion) serving as part of the 35th Division fighting in Germany and black pilots and bombardiers (the 477th Composite Group) training at Freeman Field, Indiana.
  • All-American news [1945-03, no. 2]: includes segments about women making munitions in the Washington Navy Yard; Adam Clayton Powell addressing a labor meeting in Chicago; and Frances Williams, of the Office of Price Administration, meeting with J. Finley Wilson, of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World (I.B.P.O.E.), about price and rent control.
  • All-American news [1945-03, no. 3]: includes segments about women working at a machine shop and a Big 10 track meet.
  • All-American news [1945-03, no. 4]: includes segments about a meeting of the National Conference of Colored Parents and Teachers and the work done by the Women’s Army Corps.
  • All-American news [1945-04, no. 1]includes segments about Walter F. Walter, named Secretary of Public Works for Liberia; Dr. Charles W. Buggs, associate professor of bacteriology at Wayne University in Detroit, Michigan; Mrs. Tarea Hall Pittman, commentator for the program “Negroes in the News” on station KLS in Oakland, California; and continuing the home front war effort until victory in the Pacific, featuring speakers such as Frances Williams, of the Office of Price Administration, and the Rev. Dr. Marshall Shephard.
  • All-American news [1945-04, no. 2]includes segments about Harriet Wright, chosen by soldiers to receive a set of silver; the important work done by the WAVES; and General Benjamin Davis inspecting troops in Belgium.
  • All-American news [1945-04, no. 3]: includes segments about awards given to the New York City Patrol Corps, who aided the depleted New York City police force during the war; singer Todd Duncan‘s upcoming tour of South America; and the 92nd Infantry Division advancing through Italy.
  • All-American news [1945-04, no. 4]: includes segments about the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, California; the funeral of Tuskegee Airman Capt. Wendell O. Pruitt; and the ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia, naming Rev. Bravid Washington Harris as the new Bishop of Liberia.
  • All-American news [excerpts 1945-05]: includes segments about Evelyn Boyd, who wins a scholarship; Dr. J. Price McCain, who raises prize collies; and Clifford Blount, who lost his arms in an accident.
  • All-American news [1945-05, no. 1]: includes segments about Saudi Arabian attendees of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (April 25-June 26, 1945); Henry Stimson speaking about the end of the war in Europe; and George Marshall speaking about the fight in the Pacific.
  • All-American news [1945-05, no. 3]: includes segments about an American Day celebration; a fraternity banquet; and James Slater Gibson, an Ohio lawyer.
  • All-American news [1945-05, no. 4]: includes segments about Ann Petry, the winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award, and the official opening of the Burma Road on May 20, 1945.
  • All-American news [excerpts 1945-06, no. 1]: includes segment about a G.I. returning home to Columbus.
  • All-American news. [1945-06, no. 1]: includes segments about Joseph Craigen, a judge in Michigan; the Karamu House in Cleveland; and a Memorial Day parade.
  • All-American news [1945-06, no. 2]: includes segments about Miss Sepia, an American cook interviewed in China about VE Day, and commencement and graduation at Howard University.
  • All-American news [excerpts 1945-06, no. 2]: includes segments about the moving of Christopher Columbus’ ashes; Mozelle Thompson, a young artist and designer; and Alma Byrd, a boxing trainer.
  • All-American news [1945-07, no. 1]: includes segments about African-American artist, Selma Burke; the retirement of Wilmington, Delaware City Councilman, John O. Hopkins; William “Gus” Greenlee, Negro League baseball owner and businessman; signing pitcher Willie Pope; an African-American beach resort in Virginia (Seaview Beach and Amusement Park); and soldiers at a rest camp in India.
  • All-American news [1945-07, no. 2]: includes segments about Denver boys on a staycation; war reporting from Lemuel Graves; and a star-studded birthday party for Mary McLeod Bethune.
  • All-American news [1945-07, no. 3]: includes segments about Edward Washington, who raises pigeons; the 70th birthday celebration of Mary McLeod Bethune; and W.E.B. Du Bois reporting on the United Nations Conference on International Organization.
  • All-American news [1945-08, no. 1]includes segments about V-J Day and the end of World War II, and Charles F.M. Browne, a long-time employee of the British Embassy and author of “A short history of the British Embassy at Washington, D.C., USA”.
  • All-American news [1945-08, no. 2]: includes segments about Homer S. Brown, the first African American on the Pittsburgh Board of Education; a home for wayward boys in Virginia; and the Noah Webster returning to port.
  • All-American news [1945-09]includes segments about the 16th annual Bud Billiken Day celebration in Chicago, on August 11, 1945; and American troops landing in Manila, Philippines in August, 1945.