Thursday, July 7, 2016

B.B. Smith and The Flashlight Herald

I was speaking with Louisa Trott, who is the Digital Projects Librarian at the University of Tennessee. For sometime she has been the Project Coordinator of the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project.

On that site is a list of African-American Tennessee newspapers.  A title from that list that has intrigued me is The Flashlight-Herald.  In the spreadsheet that the TNDP maintains there is no publisher/editor listed.

Using the resources of the Knox County Public Library and their Papers to Pixels Project I was able to find out more about The Flashlight-Herald.

From The Knoxville News-Sentinel I've collected just a few of the many instances where The Flashlight-Herald is mentioned.

It starts in early 1931.  B. B. (Bernis Branner) Smith published a paper in Kentucky and was coming to Knoxville.

Smith was in and out of legal trouble during his career.  Sometimes he lost.

Sometimes he won.

This is the only photo of Smith that I could find.  He's on the far right.

Trouble followed him and he was shot in the hip.

Smith died in 1958 and is buried at Longview Cemetery in Knoxville.

There's much more to the story of the Smith and The Flashlight-Herald to be told.  Maybe another day.

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