Publications at Tuskegee

Amistad’s current blog series features HBCUs highlighted in our School Newspaper Collection. This week, we look at Tuskegee Institute.

Tuskegee Institute has had many publications over the years, but three of them are of particular interest. The Southern Letter was a monthly publication that was “devoted to the education of the head, hand, and heart.” The Letter features general news and announcements regarding Tuskegee, but also has a focus on the accomplishments of Tuskegee alumni regarding where they are today and what they have achieved with their Tuskegee education. The paper updates students on the many conferences that take place on campus throughout the year and also includes a monthly list of distinguished guests that have visited the campus. The publication includes a “some special needs” section that encourages students to donate warm clothes to needy students and to make financial contributions for scholarships and to improve buildings around campus. According to the Letter, in 1926 $100 would cover the tuition for a Tuskegee student for one year.

Another publication of Tuskegee was the Cee Tee Dee, published by students of the 320th College Training Detachment. The Cee Tee Dee was focused on the military aspects of Tuskegee, with articles like the “Aviation Student of the Week” and stories from Tuskegee students and alumni serving overseas during World War 2. There is a sports section titled “Sports Parade” that details the latest sporting events involving the Tuskegee Tigers. In 1944, Lena Horne visited Tuskegee and when she met with the students of the 320th she was greeted with “rousing cheers.”

Tuskegee had an elementary school on its campus called the Chambliss Children’s House and the students operated their own newspaper called the Chambliss Children’s House News. The oldest children working on the paper were 7th graders and two of the Associate Editors were in the 1st grade! The goal of their paper was “To let others know what we are doing in school, to encourage the parents and friends to visit our school, to encourage good scholarship,” and “to give us training in written composition.” The children contributed poems, fun facts, and riddles as well as news from each individual grade from kindergarten to 7th.

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