Ada Crogman Franklin

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

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