Founder of Charleston’s esteemed Black community paper dies

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — James “Jim” French, the founder of a weekly paper that has served as a mainstay for Black communities in Charleston, South Carolina, for nearly half a century, has died. He was 94.

The Post and Courier reports that French died July 31. The Kansas native established The Charleston Chronicle in 1971 and built it into a go-to news source for African Americans in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

The publication advocated for Black communities as it shaped discourse around the issues facing Black Charlestonians and drew Black leaders into its orbit.

French edited and oversaw the community paper for more than four decades before turning it over to his grandchildren.

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