Nieman News

Just one week after mass resignations were submitted at The New Republic, Tom Sancton Jr., the son of 1942 Nieman Fellow Thomas Sancton Jr., writes about his father’s legacy as a civil rights crusader at the publication. Despite recent criticism of the magazine for its lack of diversity, Sancton Jr. notes that his father, who served as managing editor from 1942-1945, published dozens of articles on race “demanding immediate and full racial equality.”

During his time at the magazine, Sancton Sr. wrote about lynchings, race riots, the work of black writers and the northward migration of southern blacks and other topics. Sanction Jr. notes that his father “even called FDR to task for not speaking out against segregation and racial discrimination, an article that Eleanor Roosevelt herself promised to ‘bring to the attention of the President.’” His race articles were denounced by the segregationist congressman John Rankin, a move noted by Henry Luce, who hired Sanction away from The New Republic to write about racial issues for LIFE.

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