top of page



The Chicago Defender, founded by Robert S. Abbott on May 5, 1905, was heralded as "The World's Greatest Weekly." The Defender was the nation's most influential black weekly newspaper by the advent of World War I, with more than two thirds of its readership located outside of Chicago.

While the Chicago Defender is still in publication, and its stories recorded on microfilm from approximately 1913 to 2012, the majority of its photographs have not been digitized or captured on microfilm. There are the photographs taken throughout the history of the newspaper.  Historically only a few of the many images captured by photographers would find their way onto the pages of the publication. The unused works of these artists form a very important part of African-American history.  Their preservation is essential to serve as positive and purposeful references for decades to come.

The Obsidian Collection is the licensing agent of the images and articles.  Our team is organizing and identifying the images that are important to researchers, scholars and the public at large. The Collection coordinates the licensing and permissions process for the rights to use the images and published works which are granted by The Chicago Defender.

Contact Us

Tell us as much about the images or articles that you are interested in.  

We will contact you as soon as possible.

Success! Message received.

License Contact
bottom of page