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The Dawn of Tomorrow

The Dawn of Tomorrow

The Paper:

The first issue of The Dawn of Tomorrow was published by James F. Jenkins from his Glenwood Avenue home in London, Ontario on July 14, 1923.  Following the 1924 formation of the Canadian League for the Advancement of Colored People (CLACP), The Dawn of Tomorrow served as that organization's official newspaper.  First published weekly, the paper was reduced to a bi-monthly publication within its first few years, and following the unexpected death of Jenkins in 1931 its printing was at times sporadic.  Nonetheless, The Dawn of Tomorrow existed as a continuous publication from 1923 through to the first years of the 21st century.

Within the pages of The Dawn of Tomorrow, Canadian content was covered in its editorials, news pieces, articles on African Canadian history, and in its community notes section.  Alongside this Canadian content, the paper was heavily supplemented with American material reprinted from The Associated Negro Press as well as from The Journal of Negro History.


The Editors:

James F. Jenkins

James F. Jenkins - 

James Jenkins was born in Forsyth, Georgia in the 1880s.  In the early 1890s he is listed among those enrolled in College Preparatory Courses at Atlanta University - just prior to the first extended stay of W.E.B. DuBois at that school.  Before moving to Canada, Jenkins resided in Chicago where he worked in the American newspaper business.  During the first decade of the 20th century, Jenkins moved to London, Ontario where he and Christina Groat were married on April 30, 1913.

James is credited with founding The Dawn of Tomorrow and is listed as its editor, even following his 1931 death.  He was a founding member and organizing secretary of the CLACP and also served as an associate judge of the juvenile court in London.

 Christina Groat Jenkins Howson

Christina Groat Jenkins Howson - 

Born in Chatham, Ontario in the mid-1890s, Christina Groat Jenkins Howson was the daughter of Michael Groat and Eliza Harris.  In the early 1900s, the Groat family moved to London, Ontario and by 1911 they lived on Trafalgar Street.  It appears that after moving to London, Christina lived the rest of her life within the city's southeast Hamilton Road neighbourhood.

Christina was also behind The Dawn of Tomorrow's inception and was responsible for its successful and continuous publication over four decades.  In addition to assuming sole responsibility for the well being of her young family and the production of The Dawn of Tomorrow following her husband's 1931 death, she was a dedicated member of many community organizations.  She was a founding member of the CLACP, treasurer and trustee of Beth Emanuel Church, President of the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society, as well as Founder and President of the Family Community Club. 


A Contributor:

 Fred Landon

Fred Landon - 

Born in London, Ontario in 1880, Fred Landon was the son of Abraham Landon and Hannah Smith.  In the early 1900s, prior to attending university, he worked as a sailor on the Great Lakes with the Northern Navigation Company.  Returning to London, Fred received his BA from Western in 1906 and immediately went into journalism, working for 10 years at The London Free Press.  In 1916, he became Chief Librarian of London Public Library where he indulged his interest in Ontario's past and is credited with starting the local history collection - now the Ivey Family London Room.  Simultaneously, Landon held a joint lectureship in History and English at Western and in 1917 introduced the school's first American history course.  Two years later, he completed his MA on "The Relation of Canada to the Anti-Slavery and Abolition Movements in the United States."  Fred then held a joint appointment as Professor of History and Librarian before becoming Western's first full-time Librarian in 1923.  It was during his tenure as Librarian that the foundation was set for what would become Western's Archives and Regional History Collection.

Fred Landon's affiliation with The Dawn of Tomorrow and its editors can be traced to the paper's first issue on July 14, 1923.  Printed immediately following the inaugural editorial is an article by Landon entitled, "The Work of the American Missionary Association Among the Fugitive Negroes in Canada."  Fred worked alongside James F. Jenkins, Christina Groat Jenkins Howson, and others in the 1924 founding of the CLACP.  His articles on African Canadian history were published regularly and prominently within the pages of The Dawn of Tomorrow.