In 1954 “If You Ask Me” columnist B.M. Philips wrote a letter to her children praising the desegregation of American public schools. Though different writers commanded the column at different times, the “If You Ask Me,” column of the AFRO American Newspapers was a staple during the 20th century. In the 1930s “If You Ask Me” made comment on everything from the veracity of Baltimore fortune tellers to the treatment of African Americans defending democracy in Italy, where local waitresses couldn’t understand the racism against Black soldiers. (Photos by AFRO Archives)

By AFRO Staff

Though the fight for freedom and equality have undoubtedly been a main focus for the AFRO American Newspapers, the publication has gone to great lengths to record the everyday happenings of life in Baltimore and beyond. While coverage of education, politics, police brutality and social justice was crucial- just as important were the marriages, births, deaths and scandals of the Black community. 

Through the “If You Ask Me” column, AFRO readers were kept current on the latest town gossip after a healthy portion of hard news. Over the years, the column gave comment on legislative issues, crime, education and social issues of every type with a much lighter tone and perspective.

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