The Pulitzer Prize Story: News Stories, Editorials, Cartoons, and Pictures from the Pulitzer Prize Collection at Columbia University

By John Hohenberg | Go to book overview

III. TURMOIL OVER DIXIE:
THE RACIAL PROBLEM

The unending battle of courageous Southern editors and their newspapers against the evils of race hatred has been one of the great landmarks of American journalism.

Some have triumphed, others have failed. But no mobs and no threats have been able to silence newspapers of principle and editors and publishers of conviction.

Such an editor was Julian LaRose Harris of the Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer-Sun. It was his policy to wage ceaseless war against the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia even though a Klansman was governor of the state and Klan hirelings were in a position to harm the paper. In those days the symbols of conflict were the noose and the whip and the hooded night rider, not the schoolroom pointer.

Yet Harris, picking up the slogan, "It's great to be a Georgian," flung it headlong at the Klan on December 31, 1925.

"Is it great to be a Georgian?" he demanded on his editorial page. "Is it great to be a citizen of a state which is the proud parent of a cowardly hooded order founded and fostered by men who have been proved liars, drunkards, blackmailers, and murderers? Is it great to be a citizen of a state whose governor is a member of and subservient to that vicious masked gang, and whose officials are either members or in sympathy with it? ... Is it great to be a citizen of such a state? Is it great to be a Georgian? Let each one answer as he will, but the reply of the Enquirer-Sun is no."

Harris won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his paper in

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