7:26 AM / Wednesday December 7, 2022

11 Apr 2011

Almena Lomax, noted black journalist, dies at 95

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 11, 2011 Category: Stateside Posted by:

associated press

ABOVE PHOTO: In this 1985 photo, civil rights activist and journalist Almena Lomax poses while working at her Canoga Park, Calif., home. Lomax, who covered the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the Alabama bus boycott and founded the Los Angeles Tribune newspaper, has died. She was 95. Her son, Michael, tells the Los Angeles Times that Lomax died March 25 in Pasadena. He is the head of the United Negro College Fund.
(AP Photo/Los Angeles Times)


LOS ANGELES –Almena Lomax, a civil rights activist and noted black journalist who covered the Patty Hearst kidnapping, the Alabama bus boycott and founded the Los Angeles Tribune newspaper, has died. She was 95.
Lomax died March 25 in Pasadena, according to an obituary from the United Negro College Fund where her son, Michael Lomax, is president and chief executive officer.

Hallie Almena Davis was born in Galveston, Texas, one of three children. Her parents, a seamstress and a postal worker, moved to Chicago when she was 2 to escape the racially discriminatory Jim Crow laws of the South, according to the obituary from the college fund.

The family later moved to California, where Lomax studied journalism at Los Angeles City College but was unable to get a job at a major daily newspaper.

“They were taking them out of there as fast as they learned who, what, when, where and how, but nobody would hire me,” she said in an oral history recorded for California State University, Fullerton in 1967.
Lomax went to work for a local black weekly, the California Eagle, then later had a radio news program.

In 1941, Lomax borrowed $100 from her future father-in-law to found the Los Angeles Tribune, which operated for two decades and at its peak had a circulation of 25,000.

The newspaper had a reputation for feisty and fearless reporting, with articles about the movie industry and Los Angeles police racism. Its contributors were multiracial, including Japanese-Americans Wakako Yamauchi and Hisaye Yamamoto DeSoto, who had been held in camps for Japanese-Americans in World War II and later went on to become distinguished writers.

In 1946, Lomax won first prize in the Wendell L. Willkie Awards for Negro Journalism, sponsored by the Washington Post, for a column that challenged the stereotype of black men’s sexual prowess.

As an activist, Lomax served as a 1952 delegate to the Democratic convention and led boycotts of the black-themed movies “Porgy and Bess” and “Imitation of Life,” because she believed they misrepresented African Americans.

In 1956, Tribune readers donated money so she could travel to Montgomery, Ala., to cover the black bus boycott, a 13-month desegregation effort that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court declaring the segregated bus system to be unconstitutional. Lomax stayed with Martin Luther King Jr. and his family.

Following a divorce, Lomax closed the Tribune in 1960 and moved with her six children to Tuskegee, Ala., in the midst of the civil rights struggle.

Her writings appeared in such magazines as Harper’s and The Nation.

She later returned to California, where she worked for the Chronicle and the Examiner newspapers in San Francisco. She covered the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst and the search for black revolutionary Angela Davis.

In addition to her son, Lomax is survived by a daughter, Mia D. Lomax, of Los Angeles; sons Mark Lomax, of Los Angeles, and Lucius Lomax, of Austin, Texas; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A daughter, Michele Lomax, a one-time film critic for the San Francisco Examiner, died in 1987 and another daughter, Melanie Lomax, former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, died in 2006.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Jeffries wins historic bid to lead House Dems after Pelosi

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in...

Go With The-Flo

Trevor Noah hosted a “Black Theater Night” for the Tony-winning Best Musical “A Strange Loop”

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Trevor Noah ( By Flo Anthony On Nov. 29, Trevor Noah,...

Food And Beverage

What’s Cookin’? Vegan Oatmeal Butternut Squash Risotto

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts What’s Cookin’? Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and...


Senior Fitness: You may have more choices than you think

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Do you struggle with starting or maintaining a fitness routine? Don’t worry,...


Do you have the winter sniffles? Five ways you can manage indoor winter allergies

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Do you suffer from itchy eyes, a runny nose or a scratchy...

Color Of Money

Feeling the stress of high energy bills?  New programs help lower costs

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT  Soaring energy prices equate to rising energy bills for households nationwide. This...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff