The Crusader

Rockford Public Library Presents: ‘The Crusader’

During the early 1950’s Rockford’s three daily papers, the Rockford Morning Star and the Rockford Register Republic and The Rockford Labor News did not publish many stories beyond “crime news” about or of interest to the Rockford African-American community. Mr. Joseph Scott Saunders, Jr. single-handedly created and produced The Crusader, in an effort to bring balance to Rockford’s news offerings and reporting of the African-American experience within our community. The weekly paper’s high editorial standards and well-written articles garnered a substantial readership and advertising agreements successful enough to sustain its production for the better part of a decade.

Through a generous donation from Mr. Saunders’s daughter, Eleanor Saunders Towns, the editions of The Crusader which had been donated to the Rockford Public Library by Mr. Saunders in the mid 1970’s have been digitized and are now proudly available to all through our website.

Rockford Public Library is proud to offer this valuable community resource to the public. This paper records history that was not reported on elsewhere and tells the story of many African-Americans in Rockford, like Mr. Saunders who served our community with their time, talents and labor.

We offer our sincere gratitude to Ms. Towns for making this offering possible.

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