When Miss Beasley started writing a column for the Oakland Tribune, she became the first black woman to have regular publication in a major metropolitan newspaper.
In 9 Sep 1871, Miss Beasley was born in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA . At the age of 12, she started writing for her community newspaper, and later she started writing columns for the Oakland Tribune.
The “Activities Among Negroes” column by Beasley covered the good deeds and events taking place in the black community both locally and throughout the country. American historian Ms. Beasley wrote a weekly newspaper column for the Oakland Tribune in Oakland, California. She makes history as the first African American woman to have regular articles published in a significant metropolitan newspaper.
The oldest of Daniel Beasley’s five children and Margaret Harris’s homemaker, Beasley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents were engineers Daniel Beasley and Margaret Harris. Beasley followed a profession as a qualified masseuse after having to find a full-time work to support herself following the passing of her parents while still a teenager. Writing for Harry C. Smith’s black daily, the Cleveland Gazette, she started her newspaper career in 1883. She made only passing mention of church and social events. Three years later, she published her first article under the heading “Mosaics” in the Sunday Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer. Dan Rudd, a well-known newspaper publisher of the Colored Catholic Tribune in Cincinnati, taught journalism to Beasley.
Beasley relocated to Oakland, California in 1910 at the age of 39, where he attended lectures, conducted research at the University of California, Berkeley, and wrote articles for sermons at nearby churches. There were 3,055 African Americans living in Oakland in 1910. In the 1910s and 1920s, the small black population encouraged the growth of indigenous institutions and community development. Numerous black-owned small enterprises, churches, and private social organizations were included in these establishments. Additionally, a number of black newspapers were produced in Oakland, including the Western Outlook, founded in 1894 by J. S. Francis and J. L. Derrick, and the Oakland Sunshine, which started publishing in 1902 under the direction of William Prince. Editor Jesse Wysinger took over on October 22, 1921. In the Oakland Sunshine in 1915, Beasley published writing for a black readership.
In her works Slavery in California (1918) and The Negro Trail-Blazers of California (1919), a classic in the field of California black history, Beasley holds the distinction of being the first author to present written evidence of the existence of black pioneers in California.
After Delilah Beasley passed away in 1934, Jesse Wysinger’s wife, Lena M. Wysinger, took up the Activities Among Negroes section in the important metropolitan newspaper Oakland Tribune. Lena worked as a columnist up till the early 1940s.
Miss Beasley is an African American historian and journalist. She attended segregated public schools in the city, and by the time she was a teenager, she had begun writing brief social reports on the black community for both the white and the black newspapers in the area. She made her home in Oakland, California, where she worked as a nurse and a maid while becoming well-versed in black culture and the network of black women’s clubs. Within a short period of time, she was contributing special sections on African American community activities to neighborhood publications like the black Oakland Sunshine and the white Oakland Tribune.
She developed her skills in the emerging historical profession, including archival research, finding diaries and personal papers, and even conducting oral histories with senior black residents, thanks to her interest in history, which inspired her to write additional articles tracing the history of California’s black population. She self-published The Negro Trail Blazers of California in 1919, a study that gave in-depth information about black explorers going all the way back to the Spanish discovery of the area. She continued to write, take part in black women’s club activities, and work with the neighborhood NAACP chapter for the remainder of her life. After years of poor health brought on by poverty and overwork, she passed away in 1934. Her essays continue to be important for understanding both black Californian and African American women’s history.