The United States Civil Rights movement, which began in the 1950s and gained momentum in the 1960s and 1970s, owed a heavy debt to African American newspapers. This is not to suggest that the African American press caused the Civil Rights era. But its continual push from 1919 to 1950 for more African American rights, using a compelling form of advocacy journalism rather than the standard objective newspaper style, allowed those who in the 1950s began pushing nationally for equality to start at a far higher level than if the African American press had not existed. This point has largely been missed by many Americans, who seen to believe the Civil Rights era erupted from a standstill like a dormant geyser. But that is not how history occurs.