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Delilah Beasley, 1919
Delilah L. Beasley was born on this date in 1872. She was a Black newspaper journalist.
She was born in Cincinnati, OH., the first child in her family. Beasley’s career began at the age of 12 when she became a correspondent for the Cleveland Gazette. Three years later, she published her first column in the Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer under the headline “Mosaics.” She moved to northern California in 1910, attending lectures and researching at the University of California at Berkeley and writing essays for presentations at local churches. Beasley wrote for the Oakland Sunshine.
While at this paper she wrote a Sunday column called, Activities among Negroes, and spent nine years studying Black life in the Golden Bear state. In 1919, she wrote her only book, the classic, "The Negro Trail-Blazers of California." Her impact through the print media was vast, and through her efforts, the white press stopped using the words “darkie” and “nigger” and began to capitalize the “N” in Negro.
Beasley had the distinction of being the first person to have presented written proof of the existence of Blacks in California. Sensing the value of education in developing moral understanding between different peoples is how she expressed life. Delilah Beasley died on August 18, 1934, in San Leandro, CA.
Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York