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Fri, 12.01.1905

‘Moon Illustrated’ Magazine is Published

June issue

*On this date in 1905, Moon Illustrated published its first issue. The Moon Illustrated Weekly magazine was founded and edited by W.E.B. Du Bois.

The magazine was the first nationally illustrated weekly produced by and for Blacks. The experience was short-lived, however, with only thirty-four issues produced in total from the end of 1905 through July or early August of 1906. Out of these publications, only four issues survived. As the rarest African American periodical of the twentieth century, a sense of the magazine can be derived from the few copies that remain.

Issues focused on the people, places, and events of interest to early 20th-century black communities in the U.S., while also taking a more international perspective with articles on happenings in South Africa, Liberia, and Barbados.  With the quick failure of the magazine, likely due to the cost of producing it and the effort on the small staff of publishing it, Du Bois moved on to another editorial endeavor; this time editing the Horizon, a journal he continued to oversee until 1910 when he accepted the directorship of the NAACP.

There he founded and edited The Crisis, which at its peak circulated to more than 200,000 homes.  The Moon Illustrated Weekly format and content is often cited as a precursor to The Crisis.  

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