African-Americans have always been an expressive cultural. We have found ways to express ourselves through art, music, dance, and literary work. So, it should not be surprising to see that in the early part of the 1900s the first African-American monthly magazine publication was established. Walter Alexander Johnson, Walter Wallace, Jesse W. Watkins, and Harper S. Fortune were the founders of the early literary work. The magazine was published in Boston by the Colored Co-Operative Publishing Company, in 1904 until 1909 it was published by Moore Publishing and Printing Company of New York. From the beginning, Pauline Hopkins, was on the board as a shareholder and was one of the leading journalist and editors.
In 1904, Booker T. Washington purchased the magazine through a hostile takeover. He replaced Hopkins with Fred Randolph Moore as editor. In findings on Pauline Hopkins, it is believed that Booker T. Washington co-conspired with John C. Freund, who was a White London-born and Oxford educated editor to take over the magazine.
Hopkins was well-known for being an outspoken woman when it came to racism. However, there are some varying views as to why the two men took the magazine over, but some believed it was because the men thought Hopkins views were doing more harm than good. They did not want her views to create more racial discord and harm the viability of the first African-American magazine. Today there are as many as 20 letters in the Pauline Hopkins Collection at Fisk University Library that details Hopkins views during the takeover.
The newspaper received help from African-American churches and local abolition societies by way of fund drives and donations. All of the money helped the paper to publish 38 articles.