Ada Crogman Franklin

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Ada Crogman Franklin
A young African-American woman, smiling, hair in a high updo, wearing beads.
Ada Crogman, from a 1924 publication.
Atlanta, Georgia
DiedDecember 24, 1983
Kansas City, Missouri
Occupation(s)Newspaper publisher, playwright, educator, journalist
ParentWilliam H. Crogman

Ada Crogman Franklin (1886 – December 24, 1983) was an American playwright, journalist, educator, and publisher of The Kansas City Call newspaper from 1955 to 1983.

Early life and education

Ada Crogman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of William H. Crogman and Lavinia Mott Crogman.[1][2] Her father was born on Saint Martin, in the Danish West Indies.[3] She graduated from Clark Atlanta University, where her father was the president and professor of Latin and Greek.[4] She pursued further studies in oratory at Emerson College in Massachusetts.[5][6]

The Crogman family were active in education. Her sister Charlotte was a missionary, writer and editor; she married sociologist, clergyman and college president Richard R. Wright Jr.[1] Another sister, Edith, married Robert Nathaniel Brooks, a clergyman, educator, and college president.[7] Charlotte's daughter Ruth Wright Hayre was a philanthropist and school superintendent in Philadelphia.[8]


Crogman taught at Alabama State College and Tennessee State University as a young woman.[5] As dramatics specialist for the National Playground and Recreation Association and the Community Service League Inc.,[9][10][11] she wrote a popular musical pageant, Milestones of a Race, and traveled to the cities where it was presented by local theatre groups.[12][13] Another pageant by Franklin was titled Revel of the Seasons.[14]

Franklin also wrote for The Kansas City Call, the newspaper her husband founded and published.[5] After 1955, she was publisher of the paper, with Lucile Bluford as editor.[15][16] "She was the true matriarch of black journalism in America," commented publisher Carlton Goodlett, on the occasion of Franklin's death.[17]

Personal life

Ada Crogman married newspaper publisher Chester Arthur Franklin in 1925.[18][19][20] They lived in Kansas City, Missouri. She was widowed in 1955.[21][22] She died in 1983, in her late nineties.[23][24] Her papers are in the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City.[25][26]


  1. ^ a b "Service Held for Wife of AME Bishop". The New York Age. 1959-05-30. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  2. ^ Hershaw, L. M.; Towns, George A.; Van Pelt, J. R.; Arnold, Edward A. (1934). "Notes". The Journal of Negro History. 19 (2): 211–224. doi:10.1086/JNHv19n2p211. ISSN 0022-2992. JSTOR 2714537. S2CID 224832081.
  3. ^ Ronnick, Michele Valerie. "CROGMAN, William Henry". Database of Classical Scholars | Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  4. ^ Gillis, Delia C. (2007-01-01). Kansas City. Arcadia Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7385-3448-0.
  5. ^ a b c "Ada Crogman Franklin". The Pendergast Years. 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  6. ^ Perry, Imani (November 1924). "The Horizon". The Crisis: 30. ISBN 9781469638614.
  7. ^ Carroll, Grady L. E. (1979). "Brooks, Robert Nathaniel". NCpedia. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  8. ^ "Charlotte Ruth Wright Hayre". Department of English, University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  9. ^ "Colored People to Give Program Friday". The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. 1922-01-17. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  10. ^ "For Colored Folk". The Fort Wayne Sentinel. 1921-11-08. p. 17. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  11. ^ "Ada Crogman Directs Pageant in Chicago". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1924-10-11. p. 11. Retrieved 2020-02-23 – via
  12. ^ Perry, Imani (2018-02-02). May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem. UNC Press Books. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-1-4696-3861-4.
  13. ^ "Date for Pageant by Comm. Service Changed". The Richmond Item. 1922-06-09. p. 10. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  14. ^ "Book Club to Give Pageant". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1942-04-25. p. 8. Retrieved 2020-02-21 – via
  15. ^ Coulter, Charles Edward (2006). Take Up the Black Man's Burden: Kansas City's African American Communities, 1865-1939. University of Missouri Press. pp. 111, 114. ISBN 978-0-8262-6518-0. Ada Crogman.
  16. ^ "Kansas City Call —". African-American Heritage Trail of Kansas City. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  17. ^ "Ada C. Franklin, called the 'true matriarch of black..." UPI. December 25, 1983. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  18. ^ "Miss Ada Crogman of Philadelphia". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1925-07-25. p. 5. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  19. ^ "Newspaper Man to Marry". The Topeka Plaindealer. 1925-07-10. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  20. ^ Who's who in Colored America. Who's Who in Colored America Corporation. 1942. p. 192.
  21. ^ "C. A. Franklin, Call Editor, Dies at 75". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1955-05-14. p. 16. Retrieved 2020-02-21 – via
  22. ^ "Publisher is Laid to Rest". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1955-05-21. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-02-22 – via
  23. ^ Ap (1983-12-26). "Ada C. Franklin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  24. ^ "Ada C. Franklin, 'Matriarch of Black Journalism'". The Miami Herald. 1983-12-25. p. 577. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  25. ^ "Franklin Collection". Black Archives of Mid-America Kansas City. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  26. ^ "Black Archives set to re-open in Kansas City". Joplin Globe. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2020-02-22.

External links