Backyard History


Unfortunately a copy of Mr. Robinson’s Alexandria paper is unavailable. This is a graphic illustration of compiled African-American articles published during his time in other papers. (Courtesy image)

ALEXANDRIA,VA–On February 2, 1904, Magnus L. Robinson was elected to chair the executive committee of the State Negro Press Association.

Born in 1852, Robinson was a lifelong Alexandrian and his parents provided him with a private school education. For a time he went to Howard University, but withdrew due to a serious illness.

He then turned his attention to teaching, and then journalism, becoming one of Alexandria’s most well-respected and beloved African American leaders in the early 20th century.

Robinson was founder and editor of the Leader, a weekly African-American newspaper, which was first published in Washington, D.C., and then in Alexandria. (Source: Office of Historic Alexandria)

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