The first weekly newspaper in Laurel, the Laurel Chronicle, was founded by Wallace Rogers in 1897. Beginning in 1897, the paper published a column, “Progressive Colored Citizens,”serving as the first white-owned newspaper in the state to positively highlight the contributions of African-Americans to the community.
In 1954, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, while most newspapers in the state predicted violence, the Laurel Leader-Call presented a more positive outlook. It stated “We are going to make history in Mississippi. We are going to be an example to the world. Even temper must prevail . . . the solution to the problems must be worked out in the spirit of Americanism and true Christianity.”
Payne, Cleveland. The Oak Park Story: A Cultural History, 1928-1970. (1988) National Oak Park High School Alumni Association and laurel Remembrances by Cleveland Payne (1996).