Our History

In the early spring of 1939, The Roanoke Tribune began operation at #5 Gilmer Ave. in N.W. Roanoke, marking the beginning of a living legacy that continues making and recording Black history to date.

     Rev. F.E. Alexander, the founder was a legend in his own right. Totally unafraid of challenge, he worked tenaciously, against all odds, to establish and maintain a medium that the Black community could profoundly identify with. He remained editor and publisher for 32 years before retiring after a 4th of July auto accident in 1971. Of the four publications started by him during that period – in Roanoke, Martinsville, Charlottesville, and Bluefield, W.VA – only the Roanoke Tribune remains in existence.

     Claudia Alexander Whitworth, in the summer of 1945 began working with her father at the Roanoke Tribune, and after gaining additional experience as a linotype operator on newspapers in New York, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Vinton, Salem, and Roanoke, VA, she purchased the newspaper from her father in August 1971 and has remained editor/publisher since.

     Stanley Rotan Hale, working with his mother through it all, now serves as associate editor, is in charge of advertising, and stands ready to carry the torch of leadership as it is passed on to him.

     Eva Joanna Shaw, Whitworth’s only daughter rejoined the Tribune staff in 2006, reinforcing the third generation stronghold. Her triplets, Kenneth, Kaitlyn, and Klaudia are already involved in detailed assistance with the weekly mail-out process along with Stan Hale’s daughter, Lauren, formulating a strong fourth-generation backup.

The Roanoke Tribune is a paper with a purpose

1) to promote self-esteem;

2) to encourage RESPECT for self and differences in others, and

3) to help create lasting vehicles through which diverse peoples can unite on some common basis.