Conference of Black Leaders and Editors





Emmett Scott writes to George Creel suggesting a conference of African American leaders and editors, financed by the Committee on Public Information.




Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library




Mr. George Creel, Chairman,
Committee on Public Information,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Creel:

I have been holding a conference today with Major J. E. Spingarn of the Military Intelligence Branch of the General Staff. We have discussed at some length the situation with special respect to the Negro people of the United States.

Our joint feeling and opinion is that, in the present state of affairs among the Negro people, it would be a most wise thing to do - if there were held, at an early date, a meeting here in Washington, D.C., at which there might be present fifteen or twenty editors of the most important colored newspapers and magazines, together with probably a dozen or more other influential leaders among the Negro people, at which conference there should be a full discussion of the situation from the point of view of recognizing the fact that we are at war and that Negro public opinion should be led along helpful lines rather than along lines that make for discontent and are calculated to breed indifference or disloyalty.

Major Spingarn and I shall be altogether willing to suggest a list of these men who shall be called together into such a conference as herein indicated, and it is my earnest opinion that the comparatively small expenditure that might be involved in defraying the actual and necessary traveling expenses of said conferees would be more than justified by the splendid results which would be obtained. I believe that this expenditure is one to which your Committee might well commit itself, for I know of no other expenditure that would, in my opinion, be more helpful along the line of attempting to lead Negro public opinion into proper channels.

Major Spingarn and I are jointly signing this letter as our recommendation to you, and a conference with you on the subject, at your convenience, will be appreciated. Thanking you for a word of reply, we are,

Sincerely yours,
Emmett Scott
Special Assistant to the Secretary of War. (Room 131)
J.E. Spingarn
Major, Infantry, R.C.

Original Format





Scott, Emmett, “Conference of Black Leaders and Editors,” 1918 June 3, TI00134, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.