Sunday, April 8, 2012

John Edward Bruce: Ex-Slave, Bibliophile, Historian, and Journalist

John Edward Bruce (1856-1924), a former slave, was a noted bibliophile, historian, and journalist. In 1911, he co-founded the Negro Society for Historical Research with his friend and colleague Arthur Schomburg. Mr. Bruce attended Howard University, was a member of the Republican National Committee’s Literary Bureau, the Men’s Sunday Club, the Bethel Literary and Historical Association, the American Negro Academy, and once worked for The New York Times. In addition, he was a member of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and founded newspapers such as The Argus Weekly (Washington, D.C.), The Sunday Item (Norfolk, Va.), The Republican (Norfolk, Va.), The Grit (Washington, D.C.), and The Weekly Standard (Yonkers, N.Y.). He was known in the literary world as “Bruce Grit” and wrote for such papers as The African Times and Orient Review, The Negro World, The Albany Argus, and The Buffalo Express. John Edward Bruce passed away in 1924 and is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Yonkers, New York.

See related posts:  Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, 1874-1938: Noted Bibliophile, Collector, Curator, and Scholar and The Bethel Literary and Historical Association.

Sources: Crowder, Ralph L. John Edward Bruce: Politician, Journalist, and Self-Trained Historian of the African Diaspora. New York: New York UP, 2004. Print. ; Seraile, William. Bruce Grit: The Black Nationalist Writings of John Edward Bruce. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2003. Print. ; Sinnette, Elinor D. V. Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, Black Bibliophile & Collector: A Biography. New York : New York Public Library, 1989. 28-30, 36-37, 61, 73-74, 206. Print. ; Black Bibliophiles and Collectors: Preservers of Black History. Ed. Elinor D. V. Sinnette, W. Paul Coates, and Thomas C. Battle. Washington, D.C.: Howard UP, 1990. 10, 33-34, 38-39, 42, 47, 52, 69. Print. ; Anderson, Sarah A. "'The Place to Go': The 135th Street Branch Library and the Harlem Renaissance." Library Quarterly 73.4 (2003): 414. Print.

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