The personal papers of Frank L. Stanley, Sr. and the records of the Louisville Defender (1933-), the newspaper for which he served as general manager, editor, and president for thirty-eight years, are intertwined. The collection contains 9.875 linear feet of material and the newspaper's photo morgue (described separately), with portions preserved on microfilm. The Louisville Defender (founded in 1933) and its editor Frank L. Stanley, Sr. (1906-1974), reflected the aspirations of the Black press, its leadership, and their relationship to a variety of issues essential to understanding American life in the twentieth century. Through correspondence, speeches, and photographs, this material depicts the newspaper's constituency, their lives, and, on a larger scene, national figures who have been interviewed and photographed as they visited Louisville, Kentucky.
Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville.
9.875 linear feet
Frank L. Stanley Sr. was editor, general manager, and publisher of the African American newspaper Louisville Defender for thirty-eight years. He was also involved with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the Kentucky Human Rights Commission, and twice inspected troop conditions overseas for the U.S. government. This group consists of Stanley's personal papers from the period while he was editor of the Louisville Defender, as well as office records of the Louisville Defender newspaper. The papers also include Stanley's correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, and memorabilia.
The Louisville Defender was founded in 1933 by Alvin Bowman, with the encouragement and financial backing of John Sengstacke and the Chicago Defender. Public service projects quickly made the paper an important part of Louisville's black community. From 1936 to 1974 Frank L. Stanley, Sr., through the paper and through his many activities, came to personify the Defender in the local and national communities. College-trained as an English teacher, he was a founder and five-time president of the National Newspaper Publishers' Association; twice national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity; vice-chairman of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; commissioned in 1946 and 1948 by the United States Secretaries of War and Defense to inspect troop conditions in occupied Europe; a leader in advocating open access to public accommodations in the 1960s; and in 1962 was invited by the United States Department of State to conduct journalism seminars in Africa.
The papers were donated to the University of Louisville in 1983 by Stanley's widow, Vivian Clark Stanley, and his son, Kenneth Stanley. The Defender is no longer owned by the Stanley family.
To preserve the Stanley/Defender material, a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant was awarded in 1984 to the University of Louisville. Additional support was received from the University of Louisville Library and the Bingham Foundation. The papers have been arranged, described, and selectively microfilmed.
Material originally contained in scrapbooks has been removed for preservation purposes. Original order has not been maintained in all cases. Researchers are urged to refer to the microfilm, which was made before the scrapbooks were disassembled, to see the material in its original context.