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Series I. The Pittsburgh Courier, 1936-1969

Scope and Content Notes:

This series contains memos, financial reports and statements, story leads, and photographs created during Prattis’ tenure at the Pittsburgh Courier and the period directly after, covering the years 1936 to 1969. It is further divided into four subseries: Administrative Materials, Financial, Photographs, and Writings.

Subseries 1. Administrative Materials, 1936-1967

Scope and Content Notes:

Administrative Materials are files that were created during Prattis’ tenure at the paper. Prattis was very involved in the day-to-day operations of the Courier. He began as an editor in 1936 working his way from city editor to managing editor and later executive editor in 1948. Prattis retired from the Pittsburgh Courier in 1965 after it was bought by John Sengstacke, owner and publisher of the Chicago Defender. He also was a regular columnist for the paper. Included in this subseries are By-Laws of the Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company and various press passes granted to Mr. Prattis. There is also information on the trust of Mrs. Vann’s estate and the management of the Pittsburgh Courier. Recently added material can be found under the section "New Material Added." The subseries are arranged chronologically by year.


Box 1
Folder 1 Invitations and Press Passes, 1936, 1949, undated
Folder 2 By-Laws of the Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company, 1941
Folder 3 Newspaper clippings regarding P.L. Prattis, 1948
Folder 4 Press cards and Invitations from United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945
Folder 5 U.S. State Department Credentials for United Nations Conference in San Francisco, 1945
Folder 6 Assorted Pittsburgh Courier Materials, 1948, undated
Folder 7 Program for Birthday Testimonial in honor of Mrs. Robert L. Vann, 1953
Folder 8 Our World Publishing Company, Inc., Resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors, 1954
Folder 9 Publication of the Cleveland Courier, 1957-1958
Folder 10 Pittsburgh Courier Memos and Envelope Letterhead, 1956-1958
Folder 11 P.L. Prattis Testimonial Banquet Program, 1961
Folder 12 Petition to Terminate Trust of Estate of Jessie M. Vann, 1967
Folder 13 Proposed Itinerary of P.L. Prattis, undated
Folder 14 Letter from Robert L. Vann (half-page torn) undated

Section: New Material Added, 2011


Box 2
Folder 69 "Race Newsman (at long last) Admitted to Senate and House Press Galleries," clipping, 1947
Folder 70 "Prattis' Column on Dr. DuBois Prompts Many Courier Readers to Pen Letters" clipping, 1950s

Subseries 2. Financial, 1939-1964

Scope and Content Notes:

Included in the Financial subseries are copies of the Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company stock certificates issued to P.L. Prattis. Mr. Prattis had invested his own personal money into the paper and was committed to its success. As the newspaper entered the 1960s, it began to lose money and was no longer profitable. Prattis made a series of personal loans to keep the Pittsburgh Courier solvent. Of particular interest, are a series of cancelled checks Prattis wrote to the Pittsburgh Courier and Robert L. Vann's widow, Jessie, that document the loans. The Financial subseries is arranged chronologically by year and include comptroller's reports and financial statements that chart the fiscal health of the organization during this time period.


Box 1
Folder 15 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Stock Certificates and List of Shareholders, 1939-1941, 1955-1956
Folder 16 Checks written by P.L. Prattis to Robert L. Vann Memorial Fund, 1941
Folder 17 Checks written by P.L. Prattis to the Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company, 1941,1944,1946,1963-1964
Folder 18 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Audit Report, March 31, 1944
Folder 19 Resolution to Dispose of Our World Publishing Company Stock, 1946
Folder 20 Shareholders of Our World Publishing Company Stock, 1947
Folder 21 Our World Publishing Company Financial Report, October 31, 1948
Folder 22 Checks written by P.L. Prattis to Jessie M. Vann, 1948-1949
Folder 23 Our World Publishing Company Stock Certificate, 1949
Folder 24 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Report, May 31, 1955
Folder 25 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Report, September 30, 1955
Folder 26 Pittsburgh Publishing Company Financial Report, October 31, 1955
Folder 27 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Report, November 30, 1955
Folder 28 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report, January 1956
Folder 29 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report, April 1957
Folder 30 Legal Resolution with Marshall S. Leff for Financial and Management Control, 1958
Folder 31 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report, January 1958
Folder 32 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report, February 1958
Folder 33 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report, March 1958
Folder 34 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report, April-June 1958
Folder 35 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report No. 9, September 14-19, 1959
Folder 36 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Comptroller's Office Report No. 10, September 26, 1959
Folder 37 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Balance Sheet, September 30, 1960
Folder 38 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Report, December 31, 1960
Folder 39 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Report, February 28, 1961
Folder 40 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Report, June 30, 1963
Folder 41 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Balance Sheet, September 30, 1963
Folder 42 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Financial Statement, June 30, 1964
Folder 43 Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Company Yearly Financial Statement, December 31, 1964

Subseries 3. Photographs, 1936-1961

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries contains the photographs of P.L. Prattis taken while traveling on assignment for the Pittsburgh Courier. The subseries features images of the United States Armed Forces during World War II, which includes a photograph taken at a press conference with General George Marshall and Colonel Benjamin O. Davis. The Photographs subseries also features images of Prattis being honored at banquets, along with some photographs of Robert L. Vann, the Pittsburgh Courier's long-time editor, and his wife Jessie. Recently added material can be found under the section "New Material Added." The subseries is arranged by year with many images undated.

Folder 44 P.L. Prattis at Professional Events, 1936-1940s, undated
Folder 45 Organizing Committee of the War Bond Savings Club, ca.1942
Folder 46 Blair House Press Conference for Edwin Barclay, President of Liberia, 1943
Folder 47 P.L. Prattis and Robert L. Vann with unidentified man, 1940s
Folder 48 P.L. Prattis with African American Soldiers in Army Mess Hall, 1940s
Folder 49 The Pittsburgh Courier's Frank Bolden as a War Correspondent, 1940s
Folder 50 Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., and Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., at Press Conference for African American Press, 1940s
Folder 51 General George Marshall addressing the African American Press, 1940s
Folder 52 P.L. Prattis and Jessie M. Vann with group, 1950s
Folder 53 P.L. Prattis in group with President Eisenhower, 1950s
Folder 54 P.L. Prattis in Tel Aviv, 1954
Folder 55 P.L. Prattis as speaker for National Insurance Convention, Durham, North Carolina, 1954
Folder 56 Wilhelmina Butler, Jessie M. Vann, P.L. Prattis, Patricia Prattis, Ethel Ramos, and Paquita Harris, 1960s
Folder 57 Testimonial dinner in honor of P.L. Prattis, 1961
Folder 58 Roy Wilkins and P.L. Prattis, undated
Folder 59 Lester Granger, Reba Schinault, and P.L. Prattis at Press Conference, undated
Folder 60 P.L. Prattis at a shrine in Jerusalem, Israel, undated
Folder 61 P.L. Prattis in Europe while on assignment for the Pittsburgh Courier, undated
Folder 62 P.L. Prattis with unidentified men, undated
Folder 63 P.L. Prattis, Rev. Toliver, Dr. Eugene Younge, Jr., and two other unidentified men, undated

Section: New Material Added, 2011


Box 2
Folder 71 P.L. Prattis and unidentified man (possibly related to Community Chest and Councils of America), 1960s

Subseries 4. Writings, 1945-1969

Scope and Content Notes:

The Writings subseries features story leads and drafts of articles, notes, and journal entries. Prattis wrote for the Pittsburgh Courier and other publications during this time period. Recently added material can be found under the section "New Material Added." The subseries is arranged chronologically.


Box 1
Folder 64 Journal entries for the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, 1945
Folder 65 Writings by P.L. Prattis while on assignment in India, 1949
Folder 66 "Statement to General Lucius D. Clay," 1949
Folder 67 "Issues: Good and Bad." Draft for article in Associated Negro Press, 1954
Folder 68 Report on Courier Caravan, October 2- December 1957
Folder 69 Draft of the Courier Church Supplement, 1958
Folder 70 "The People of the Earth: History Special for Children," 1968-1969
Folder 71 Writing Assignment on Josephine Baker, undated
Folder 72 Story Lead on Draft of Constitution of Latin-Bloc Countries, undated
Folder 73 Book review on "The First Circle," undated
Folder 74 "Homewood- Brushton- Belmar Boomtown, '68," undated
Folder 75 "The Horizon," Writing Assignment from the ship Argentina, undated
Folder 76 Writing Assignment on Gaston Monnerville from Paris, undated
Folder 77 "Must We Surrender?" undated
Folder 78 "Over the Shoulder History," Lead for Pittsburgh Courier series, undated
Folder 79 "Poverty of the Negro, Prosperity of the Whites," undated
Folder 80 Profile of Virginia Paris, undated
Folder 81 "Road to Freedom," undated
Folder 82 "Reference to Maso Tse," undated
Folder 83 Story Lead on Wilkinsburg Coalition, undated
Folder 84 Writing Assignment from Cairo, undated
Folder 85 Writing Assignment from London, undated
Folder 86 Writing Assignment from Paris, undated
Folder 87 "Peace Prospects in the Holy Land," undated
Folder 88 "Thirteen Years under Nazi Terror: as told to P.L. Prattis," Third and Final Drafts, undated
Folder 89 "Truth is Delight," Review for the Pittsburgh Courier, undated
Folder 90 Story Lead on the death of Jessie M. Vann, undated
Folder 91 Story Lead on Dr. Euguene Younge, undated
Folder 92 Untitled Writing, undated
Volume 1 United Nations International Conference, San Francisco, Scrapbook, 1945

Section: New Material Added, 2011


Box 2
Folder 72-73 "The Horizon" newspaper clippings of column, 1943-1944

Box 2
Folder 85 "Autobiography", fragmentary undated