Portland New Age

The New Age, later known as the Portland New Age, was the first African-American newspaper published in the U.S. state of Oregon.

Portland New Age
The New Age drawing.png
TypeAfrican American newspaper
PublisherAdolphus D. Griffin
Founded1896; 125 years ago (1896)
CountryUnited States


Adolphus D. Griffin, or A.D. Griffin, launched the weekly newspaper in 1896. Griffin, served various occupational roles throughout his life, which included editor, publisher, politician, entrepreneur, and even custodian.[1] He was known as a "political leader of the colored people of the Willamette Valley,"[2]

Shortly after the New Age's initial launch, Griffin offered to circulate it to Portland's black residents for free.[3] The city's black population, which numbered fewer than 800 on the paper's launch date,[4] were highly literate in comparison to southern blacks of the time, and to Oregon's white laboring class.[2] At the time, black people were legally prohibited from living in the state by a provision in the Oregon Constitution.[5] The New Age, which included national news items in addition to local coverage, was intended for a black readership.[6] However, the publication likely attracted some white audiences, as well.[5]

Prior to launching the New Age, Griffin had been editor of the Northwest Echo in Spokane, Washington. He left Portland for unknown reasons in 1907, and the newspaper did not survive his departure. He died nine years later; at the time he was editor of the Kansas Elevator.[7]

The Oregon Historical Society holds about 400 issues of the New Age,[2] and the University of Oregon and Harvard University have issues on microfilm.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [Shreds and Patches. (1898, August 13). Colored American, 6 (20), p. [4].
  2. ^ a b c Hopkins Koglin, Oz (February 16, 1993). "New Age Weekly Gave Blacks in Portland a Perspective". The Oregonian.
  3. ^ Advertisement. (1900, August 11). Portland New Age, p. 4.
  4. ^ "Portland New Age « Historic Oregon Newspapers". Historic Oregon Newspaper. October 6, 2015. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Historic Oregon Newspapers: Preserving History While Shaping the Future". The Public Domain Review. October 7, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  6. ^ [A. D. Griffin; Portland]. (1900, August 18). Portland New Age, p. 4.
  7. ^ Mangun, Kimberley (January 22, 2007). "The New Age, Portland, OR (1896–1907)". blackpast.org. The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  8. ^ Library, University of Oregon, Knight. "Portland new age". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Further readingEdit

  • Hopkins, Oznathylee A. (1974). Life in Oregon, 1899–1907: A Study of the Portland New Age (Thesis). Reed College.
  • The Skanner, 2015

External linksEdit