The Writer’s Block: A Q&A with Ethan Michaeli

by    /  June 19, 2017  / Comments Off on The Writer’s Block: A Q&A with Ethan Michaeli

Ethan Michaeli is the author of the acclaimed book, The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America From the Age of the Pullman Porters to the Age of Obama, which examines the history of the The Chicago Defender and its profound influence on American history and politics. Michaeli worked at the newspaper as a copyeditor and investigative reported from 1991-1996. He arrived at the paper’s offices largely unaware of the persisting issues of racism in what claimed to be a “post-racial” America. His book is a collection of stories and knowledge gained through his time at The Defender, and years of intense research into the paper’s history. It is a tribute to the long lineage of reporters and editors at Black newspapers around the country, who worked against institutional oppression, powerful political forces, and constant threats of violence to tell the stories that white America refused to hear.

In this Writer’s Block Q&A, Michaeli discusses his experience with the paper, his research process, and his thoughts on the future of the newspaper as a medium in the age of the Internet and lightning-fast information.

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