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Learn about Marjorie Parham

 

Marjorie Parham
Marjorie Parham, “The Cincinnati Herald” publisher emerita

Marjorie Parham, formally Marjorie Porter, was born in Clermont County and graduated from Batavia High School. She attended Wilberforce University and later chaired the board of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. She also attended the University of Cincinnati and became the second African American Trustee.  

 

Since 1955, the Cincinnati Herald has been Cincinnati’s premier African American newspaper. Gerald Porter, Marjorie’s husband, started the Herald in 1952, and Marjorie continued as the publisher after he died tragically in 1963.

 

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Parham and Parks
Mrs. Parham with famed photographer Gordon Parks.

With little publishing experience and overwhelming debts,  Mrs. Parham was determined to continue the  Herald’s success with the help of her son, Bill Spillers. She traveled to New York and called the offices of advertising agencies to secure lucrative national ads. She also contacted local businesses and readers by making the Herald‘s classified advertising section convenient for buyers and sellers. 

 

 

An offer from friend, Hartwell Parham, to help her with the accounting led to marriage. As Mrs. Parham, she and her son kept the Herald going for the next several decades. Spillers became the publisher in 1993. Three years later, the paperwas sold to SESH Communications and remained one of the few voices for African Americans in Cincinnati.

 

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Marjorie was also active in the Urban League, American Red Cross, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, and scouting groups. Marjorie Parham has been recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists for her accomplishments. The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame inducted her, and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce recognized her as a Great Living Cincinnatiian.

 

Today, Mrs. Parham is 102 years old, lives in the Marjorie P. Lee Center, and still holds the title of publisher emerita at the Cincinnati Herald. She also has a street named after her, Marjorie Parham Way, in Walnut Hills.

 

Marjorie Parham Way
Family and friends surrounded Mrs. Marjorie B. Parham as councilmen renamed Lincoln Avenue “Marjorie Parham Way” on her 102nd birthday.

 

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Other African American print publications in Cincinnati include American Catholic Tribune (late 19th century), The Union (1907-1952) Cincinnati’s Colored Citizens (1926), NIP Magazine (1955-1990), Pride Magazine (1968-1978), Applause Magazine (1986), Cincinnati Human Relations Commission Black Directory (1987)SuccessGuide (1993) and Tri-State Talk Magazine (1996-2002). Delilah L. Beasley achieved the distinction of being the first African American journalist to have regularly published work in a major metropolitan newspaper.

 

Other publications of note are Cincinnati’s Black Peoples: A Chronology and Bibliography (1787-1982)People and Events in the History of Cincinnati’s Negroes (1800-1969)Negro Opportunities in Cincinnati (1920s and 1930s), Negro Business Directory (1940) and The Urban League Guild Cincinnati Black Business Directory (1969 and 1970).  

 

Sources

19th Century Black Cincinnatians you should know | Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library (cincinnatilibrary.org)
Parham, Marjorie B. | Encyclopedia.com
Cincinnati History Library and Archives – cincymuseum.org

 

 

About The First 28

The First 28, graciously sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, celebrates Black Cincinnatians who were the first in their fields. Each day during Black History Month, we will celebrate athletes, artists, business leaders, civil rights activists, educators, physicians, and politicians.

 

 

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

 

Images provided by the Herald

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Written by Sophie Barsan

Sophie Barsan is a writer at The Voice of Black Cincinnati, where she covers events and client -focused content. Sophie's work is central to keeping the community informed about Cincinnati vibrant array of activities and opportunities. Her dedication to exploring and highlighting the city's cultural richness makes her stories a must-read for anyone looking to engage with the local scene. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn for a deeper look into her articles and contributions.

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