The Roanoke Tribune was founded in 1939, and is one of the oldest African-American newspapers still publishing.

Fleming Alexander founded the Roanoke Tribune newspaper in 1939 at 5 Gilmer Avenue, later moved to 312 Henry Street, and then to Melrose Avenue in Roanoke. As an African-American newspaper, it brought attention against the Jim Crow laws of Roanoke and Western Virginia, and championed black representation on Roanoke's public boards and better schools for the black children in the segregated South.[1]

The Tribune took an early stand against segregation. Indeed, the motto on the masthead proclaimed: "Only Negro newspaper published in South Western Virginia."[2] The newspaper has a printed purpose: "1) to promote self-esteem; 2) to encourage RESPECT for self and differences in others, and 3) to help create lasting vehicles through which diverse peoples can unite on some common basis."[3]

Later, because of poor health after a car accident in 1971, Fleming Alexander sold the Roanoke Tribune to his daughter, Claudia Alexander Whitworth.[4] The Roanoke Tribune celebrated its 75th anniversary on April 9, 2014. A recent video history of the newspaper is available.[5]


  1. ^ Roanoke Times. Discover History & Heritage: Exploring the People and Places of Southwest Virginia. 2015. Issue 3 originally published with the copyrighted February 25, 2016 edition of The Roanoke Times. "Fleming E. Alexander". Page 51.
  2. ^ The Tribune. Roanoke, Va: F.E. Alexander, 1940.
  3. ^ Roanoke Tribune
  4. ^ "The Roanoke Tribune’s 70th Anniversary – Nikki Giovanni Video". April 26, 2009
  5. ^ "The History of the Roanoke Tribune".