Edit Current Bio
UCB is written collaboratively by you and our community of volunteers. Please edit and add contents by clicking on the add and edit links to the right of the content

Zenobia A. Alexander

Born on 1-4-1891. He was born in Fordyca, AK. He was accomplished in the area of Media. He later died on 1-16-1973.
  • Basic Info
  • Attachments
  • Relations
  • Organizations
  • Accomplishments
  • Schools
  • Employers
Zenobia Alexander was one of a handful of Black journalists who worked in Buffalo in the early 20th century. A native of Fordyca, Arkansas and a World War I veteran, Alexander moved to Buffalo following the war. Alexander was an A.B. graduate in journalism from Howard University. He was also a graduate of Arkansas Baptist College.

From 1925 to 1927, he was employed as a reporter for the Buffalo Times, and was noted as the only colored person to have ever held a reportorial position on any local Buffalo, non-African American daily. Among his other journalistic credentials, he listed editorial positions at the Buffalo Progressive Herald and city editor of the Buffalo American. He was also the managing editor of the Buffalo Criterion and the Buffalo/Empire Star.

In 1924, He was one of the founders of the Negro Progressive Club for Racial & Economic Uplift. The other two co-founders were Jesse Taylor, a brick layer and A.A. Boykin, a waiter. Taylor was also active in union organizing, politics and was a founder of the A. Philip Randolph Movement in Buffalo. In 1931 Taylor founded the Buffalo Progressive Herald newspaper and Alexander served as the managing editor until 1937. In 1939, he joined the staff of the Criterion as managing editor and maintained that position until 1949 when he joined the staff of the Buffalo/Empire Star. Following the death of that newspaper's publisher, A.J. Smitherman, Alexander again rejoined the Criterion in 1962. He remained with the newspaper until failing eyesight caused his retirement from journalism.

Alexander served as the Secretary of Howard University Alumni Association in the city. He was also active in church circles having maintained memberships at one time in the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, the Lloyd's Memorial Congregational Church, Friendship Baptist Church and as a founding member of Pilgrim Baptist Church. In the 19402 he became active in Catholicism.

During World War II, Alexander was cited as the highest ranking minority worker at the National Aniline & Chemical Company located in South Buffalo. He'd also worked on the docks.

In an interesting piece of trivia, an article in the November 14, 1925 edition of the Buffalo Morning Express identified Alexander as the victim of an armed robbery by two Black men. He was robbed of $129.00 a rather large sum of money at that time. One of the robbers was apprehended and identified as a habitual criminal but that the local Negroes were too scared to accuse him of his crimes. The article does not provide any details of the outcome of the arrest. Alexander is identified as the "editor of the Buffalo American, the negro newspaper".

Alexander was married in 1919 to Blanche with whom he shared three step-children. He is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.