Historic black newspaper, the Chicago Defender, goes digital after more than a century

CHICAGO — Wednesday’s edition of the Chicago Defender is the last one available in print.

After more than a century as the main source of news for generations of black Chicagoans, the iconic Chicago newspaper will now only be available in digital form.

“We grew up with the Defender,” said reader Lawrence Keenon. “It is a primary icon in the black culture. It hurts me to my heart.”

Like Keenon, 100-year-old civil rights activist and historian Timmel Black and Reverend Jesse Jackson were among the many readers coming by the paper’s offices to pick up a copy of the final issue.

“Ida B Wells wrote for the Defender. It covered our humanity,” said Reverend Jackson.

The paper went from topping a yearly circulation of over 250,000 in its heyday to under 16,000 weekly.

Read more at ABC Chicago.