Selma Times-Journal

Last updated
Selma Times-Journal
Selma December 2018 28 (Selma Times-Journal).jpg
Selma Times-Journal building
TypeDaily (except Mondays)
Owner(s)Boone Newspapers Inc.
PublisherDennis Palmer
EditorAdam Powell

The Selma Times-Journal is a five-day-a-week newspaper located in Selma, Alabama. It publishes every day of the week except Sunday and Monday. The Saturday paper is called the "Weekend Edition". It is owned by Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Boone Newspapers Inc.

Selma, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, in the Black Belt region of south central Alabama and extending to the west. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has a population of 20,756 as of the 2010 census. About 80% of the population is African-American.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017. The city was originally known as Tuskaloosa until the early 20th century.



The paper was founded as the Selma Courier on November 2, 1827, by Thomas Jefferson Frow. [1]

The newspaper was later known by various names, including the Selma Free Press, Selma Reporter, and Selma Daily News. During the American Civil War, the newspaper's press was torched by Union Army troops following the Battle of Selma (see Selma, Alabama in the American Civil War). [1] The paper then merged with the weekly Selma Messenger to form the Times Messenger. The paper then merged with the Selma Argus (becoming the Times-Argus), and then with the Selma Evening Mail (becoming the Selma Times). In 1889, the paper changed its name to the Morning Times. [1] In 1914, Frazier Titus Raiford purchased the Selma Times, and on March 1, 1920, the paper merged with the Selma Journal to become the Selma Times-Journal. [2] Frazier Titus Raiford and his wife Mary Howard Raiford served as editors and publishers until Frazier died in 1936. Mary RaifordAlabama's only female publisherthen ran the paper by herself for 23 years. [3]

American Civil War Internal war in the U.S. over slavery

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.

Union Army Land force that fought for the Union (the north) during the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States as a working, viable republic.

Battle of Selma battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Selma, Alabama, formed part of the Union campaign through Alabama and Georgia, known as Wilson's Raid, in the final phase of the American Civil War.

In 1923, the paper editorialized against the Ku Klux Klan, writing, "Selma has no room within her confines for that ugly, malevolent institution of the devil known as Ku Kluxism." [4] In the later 1920s, the paper denounced James Thomas Heflin and his anti-Catholic demagoguery. In the 1930 election for governor, the paper supported the candidacy of Judge Benjamin M. Miller, "a noted foe of lynching and the Klan" and a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Al Smith. [5]

Ku Klux Klan American white supremacy group

The Ku Klux Klan, commonly called the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist hate group, whose primary target are African Americans. The Klan has existed in three distinct eras at different points in time during the history of the United States. Each has advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism and anti-Catholicism. Historically, the First Klan used terrorism – both physical assault and murder – against politically active blacks and their allies in the South in the late 1860s, until it was suppressed around 1872. All three movements have called for the "purification" of American society and all are considered right-wing extremist organizations. In each era, membership was secret and estimates of the total were highly exaggerated by both friends and enemies.

James Thomas Heflin Democratic U.S. Senator from Alabama

James Thomas Heflin, nicknamed "Cotton Tom," was an American politician who served as a Democratic Congressman and United States Senator from Alabama.

Anti-Catholicism in the United States is historically deeply rooted in the anti-Catholic attitudes brought by British Protestants to the American colonies. Two types of anti-Catholic rhetoric existed in colonial society and continued into the following centuries. The first, derived from the theological heritage of the Protestant Reformation and the European wars of religion, consisted of the biblical Anti-Christ and the Whore of Babylon variety and dominated anti-Catholic thought until the late seventeenth century. The second type was a secular variety which derived in part from xenophobic and ethnocentric nativist sentiments and distrust towards increasing waves of Catholic immigrants, particularly from Ireland, Italy, Poland, Québec, and Mexico. It usually focused on the pope's control of bishops and priests.

During the civil rights movement, the Times-Journal attempted to provide balanced reporting, unlike many other Southern newspapers of the era. Nevertheless, the paper did publish "advertisements from the local White Citizens' Councils that included veiled threats and ... other advertisements purportedly showing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a communist training session." [6] The paper provided meaningful coverage of the Selma to Montgomery marches. Journalists Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff, in their book The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation , wrote: "Selma had something most other venues of civil rights activity did not: a local newspaper that visiting reporters could depend on. The Selma Times-Journal saw the historic importance of the story and took its responsibility seriously, providing detailed accounts that reporters found reliable." [7]

Civil rights movement Social movement in the United States during the 20th century

The civil rights movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle with the goal of enforcing constitutional and legal rights for African Americans that white Americans already enjoyed. With roots that dated back to the Reconstruction era during the late 19th century, the movement achieved its largest legislative gains in the mid-1960s, after years of direct actions and grassroots protests that were organized from the mid-1950s until 1968. Encompassing strategies, various groups, and organized social movements to accomplish the goals of ending legalized racial segregation, disenfranchisement, and discrimination in the United States, the movement, using major nonviolent campaigns, eventually secured new recognition in federal law and federal protection for all Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. U.S. civil rights movement leader

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta Georgia, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

Selma to Montgomery marches 1965 march for African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote

The Selma to Montgomery marches were three protest marches, held in 1965, along the 54-mile (87 km) highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery. The marches were organized by nonviolent activists to demonstrate the desire of African American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression; they were part of a broader voting rights movement underway in Selma and throughout the American South. By highlighting racial injustice, they contributed to passage that year of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement of the civil rights movement.

Kathryn Tucker Windham, a writer and storyteller, was a journalist and photographer with the Times-Journal in the mid-20th century, writing the column "Around our House" from 1950 to 1966. [8]

Kathryn Tucker Windham American storyteller, writer and photographer

Kathryn Tucker Windham was an American storyteller, author, photographer, folklorist, and journalist. She was born in Selma, Alabama, and grew up in nearby Thomasville.


2018 Better Newspaper Contest - Alabama Press Association [9]

2018Best Spot News Story1stBlake Deshazo
2018Best Business Story or Column1stJustin Averette
2018Best Sports News In-Depth Coverage1stThomas Scott, Alaina Denean Deshazo
2018Best Sports Feature Story1stDaniel Evans
2018Best Local Sports Column1stDaniel Evans
2018Best Feature Photo1stAlaina Denean Deshazo
2018Best Spot News Photo1stAlaina Denean Deshazo
2018Online Breaking News Coverage1stBlake Deshazo


  1. 1 2 3 From Courier to Times-Journal, Selma Times-Journal (November 12, 2010).
  2. Walter M. Jackson, The Story of Selma (1954), p. 473-74.
  3. Alston Fitts, Selma: A Bicentennial History (University of Alabama Press, 2017), pp. 178-79.
  4. Alston Fitts, Selma: A Bicentennial History (University of Alabama Press, 2017), pp. 181-82.
  5. Alston Fitts, Selma: A Bicentennial History (University of Alabama Press, 2017), p. 185.
  6. Barbara Harris Combs, From Selma to Montgomery: The Long March to Freedom (Routledge, 2014), p. 173.
  7. Gene Roberts & Hank Klibanoff, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (Knopf, 2006), p. 389.
  8. Amalia K. Amaki & Priscilla N. Davis, Tuscaloosa (Arcadia Publishing, 2015), p. 21.
  9. Langan, Jaclyn. "APA Better Newspaper Contest Award Winners Announced" (PDF). Alabama Press Association. Retrieved 13 July 2018.

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