Jesse Lee Albritton Papers
Scope and Contents
This collection includes materials related to Jesse Albritton’s work as a journalist, publisher, and public figure. It spans the years 1938-2005; the bulk of the collection consists of a scrapbook, political sketches, newspaper clippings, speeches, correspondence, and records relating to Albritton’s death. The photographs within this collection include a number of Chicago area and national political figures. Most of the photographs are undated.
- Creation: 1938-1965
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions
Conditions Governing Use
Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Biographical / Historical
Jesse Lee Albritton was born on April 25, 1911 in Fairfax, Georgia to Hilda Rose and Thomas Y. Albritton. In 1937 he moved to St. Louis, Missouri and began working on the St. Louis Argus Newspaper. He met Ida Marie Bonner and they married after a brief courtship. The couple then moved to Chicago.
Albritton’s first job upon moving to Chicago was selling advertisements for the Chicago Defender Newspaper. While working at the paper, he met union labor leaders, including Mr. Paul Dorfman of the Waste Material Handler’s Union, which was under the jurisdiction of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Albritton wrote a column for the AFL newspaper entitled "Color in the News."
After serving in WWII the learned the printing business and worked with Leo Foster to create the magazine, Club Life. The publication covered the social life of clubs and organizations of Chicago African Americans. Albritton also worked for US Senator Everett Dirksen and as a Cook County Deputy Sheriff. Albritton died in June 1964 during a fishing boat accident on Lake Michigan.
1.25 Linear Feet (in 3 archival boxes, includes 2 oversize folders and 42 photographs )
Language of Materials
Jesse Lee Albritton was a Chicago-based labor organizer and author of regular columns featured throughout the 1940s and 1950s in the Chicago Crusader and Federation News. This collection includes materials related to Jesse Albritton’s work as a journalist, publisher, and public figure. It spans the years 1938-2005; the bulk of the collection consists of a scrapbook, political sketches, newspaper clippings, speeches, correspondence, and records relating to Albritton’s death.
The Jesse Lee Albritton Papers are divided into three series: Biography, Manuscripts and Photographs.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donation of Marie B. Albritton in July 2010
- Guide to the Jesse Lee Albritton Papers
- Processed by CLIR funded Black Metropolis Research Consortium “Color Curtain Processing Project.” by Emily Minehart and Beth Loch, 2013. Supervised by Beverly A. Cook, Harsh Research Collection
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection Repository
Woodson Regional Library
Chicago Public Library
9525 S. Halsted Street
Chicago IL 60628 United States