During the period August 30, 1927 through June 1, 1928, Estelle Lane wrote a column for the Alexandria Gazette about social events in the African-American community. Her first two columns appeared as "Doings of Our Colored People" but the name changed to "News of Interest to Colored Readers."
“News of Interest to Colored Readers” reports on a variety of life events (births, deaths, marriages), social items (visitors to Alexandria and travellers from Alexandria, picnics, river cruises), cultural events (lectures, concerts, plays) and organizational news (churches, schools, lodges). The column appeared at least once a week -- sometimes as frequently as four times a week -- but it ceased abruptly after ten months. The reason for its discontinuance is unknown.
In a similar vein, little is known about the writer. Estelle Lane was born in 1905 to Sidney D. and Mary (Carter) Lane -- the 12th of 13 children. Her father was a coal dealer; her mother kept house at 417 N. Henry Street. Estelle Lane was a cook in her early twenties when her columns were published. There is no trace of her whereabouts after 1928. However, an examination of resources available in this collection (census documents, vital records, and city directories) resulted in a geneaological report about the Lane family.
This database indexes names, activities, newspaper issue dates, and page numbers. It includes additional information about the person, organization, or event when details were published.
Personal names. In some cases there are variations of a name e.g. "Mary Pinkard" also appears as "Mary Pinckard."
Titles and honorifics. "Attorney" and "Undertaker" are used in the same fashion as "Doctor." "M/M" is an abbreviation for "Mr. and Mrs."
Variations on proper names. "Educational Week" also appears as "American Education Week."
Names of churches. Abbreviations of "Street" and "Mount" both appear in the database when referring to "Alfred Street Baptist Church" and "Mount Jezeral Baptist Church." Note: The newspaper published two spellings, "Jezeral" and "Jezerel." The Seventh Day Adventist Church mentioned here was located at 1020 Pendleton Street.
Microfilm of the Alexandria Gazette may be viewed in Local History/Special Collections. Photocopies of these columns are available.
NOTE: Researchers might also want to refer to Guide to African-American Resources (the guide presents an overview of relevant materials in the Alexandria Library Local History/Special Collections division) and African-American Voter Registration in Alexandria, 1902-1954 (this database contains close to 2,100 entries taken from microfilmed voter registration books).