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Fri, 10.02.1925

The Chicago Bee Weekly Newspaper is Published

*The Chicago Bee was first published on this date in 1925.   Chicago Sunday Bee was a Chicago-based weekly newspaper. 

The paper's founder and owner Anthony Overton, a wealthy industrialist, owned a number of concerns including the Overton Hygienic Company, a successful cosmetics firm. He had also made a previous venture in publishing, in the form of the Half-Century Magazine.   The Chicago Bee was primarily African American readers. The paper was committed to covering "wholesome and authentic news" and adopted a middle-class, conservative tone. 

Politically, it was aligned with the Republican Party. After sharing quarters with the Hygienic Company in the 1920s, the Bee moved into the new Chicago Bee Building.  However, after Overton's bank failed in the 1930s, the two businesses shared quarters once again, as the Hygienic Company moved into the Bee building.  Chandler Owen became editor of the Bee after moving to Chicago. The Bee initially supported the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which Owen supported, but later joined other publications including the Chicago Defender in opposing the union.  

Subsequent editors of the paper included Ida B. Wells and Olive Diggs. The Bee's editorial staff was mostly women, and the newspaper covered the Black women's club movement extensively. It distinguished itself in its promotion of black history and literature. The Bee sponsored the original "Mayor of Bronzeville" contest which led to the use of the term "Bronzeville" for the neighborhood. The concept was originally suggested by theater editor James Gentry, who coined the term and had been sponsoring a beauty contest in the neighborhood since 1916. When Gentry left the paper in 1932, he took his concept with him to the Chicago Defender, which continued the contests. 

After Overton's death in 1946, the Bee was briefly continued by his sons in a tabloid format but was unsuccessful. It folded in 1947.  Very little of the Bee survives today, apart from the building it occupied. One historian was unable to find a single intact issue from the years 1925 to 1935.  

to be a Journalist or Reporter


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