Rochester's Roots: Howard Coles

Created: February 22, 2021 12:10 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC celebrates Black History Month by honoring the people and places that have paved the way for many in the Rochester area.

Stories highlighting Rochester's African American community throughout the 20th century weren't being told, so Howard Wilson Coles told them in his newspaper, the Frederick Douglass Voice. 

Just like Douglass, Coles was a social reformer and a trailblazer. He started his paper in 1934, and for more than half a century, it rolled off the presses. 

You could also hear Coles on the old WSAY radio station. He was hired in 1938 as their first African American radio announcer. 

He helped found groups like FIGHT and Action for a Better Community and was the first local NAACP president. 

Today, you can find the Howard Wilson Coles Collection at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Learn more about Rochester's Roots here.

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