Feb. 14, 1953: Detroit Free Press hires first black editorial staff member

1622665_1426341077606402_1413676746_nOn this day in 1953, the Michigan Chronicle reports that Collins C. George has joined the Detroit Free Press staff.

The 43-year-old Harvard educated, former war correspondent and Pittsburgh Courier editor is believed to be the “first Negro ever employed as a regular staff member of the Free Press editorial department.”

Says Free Press executive Lee Hills as reported by Jet magazine: “Mr. George’s qualifications are outstanding. His record for more than eight years at the Pittsburgh Courier was one of which any newspaperman might be proud.”

George will work primarily as a music critic for the newspaper.

He will join the ancestors in 1980 at age 70.

Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.