Feb 23, 2017

Black History Magazines: South Africa’s Drum, 1950s

Drum was a South African weekly magazine founded in 1951. Initially called The African Drum, in the 1950s and 60s it was an important chronicler of black political and social life, and Drum‘s reporters covered many of the major anti-apartheid protests and events. They later branched out to publish East and West African editions. The longtime art director during this period was Jurgen Schadeberg, a German immigrant who was also the magazine’s main photographer.

Africa Media Online has a wonderful archive of Drum covers.

An exhibit of Drum photographs was on display in 2012 at the ICP in New York City. The New York Times has a slideshow with some amazing images from that show.

There’s a good history of the early days of Drum here.

Drum is still published, although it’s a very different magazine these days. There’s a great book with covers and pages from Drum 1976-80 that features powerful photographs from the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Thanks to Burned Shoes and 16 Stone Vintage for inspiring this post.

(Above): Drum, February 1955

DM2000072106:SAED:JUL1956 - Drum Cover (© Baileys Archives)

Drum, July 1956

03 Drum June57

Drum, June 1957. On the cover: Miriam Makeba.

05 Drum October?

Drum, 1950s (West African edition). On the cover: Lena Horne.

07 Drum Sept57

Drum, September 1957

04 Drum july55

Drum, July 1955

DM2001071603:SAED:COVER:JUN1951- Childen. (© BAHA)

The African Drum, June 1951

08 Drum April 55

Drum (West African edition), April 1955

09 Drum May56

Drum, May 1956

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-1-28-53-pmDrum, April 1957

More Black History Magazines

Jet, 1950s
> Jet, 1960s
> The Black Panther newspaper
> Ebony Jr!
> Magazine and book covers illustrated by Aaron Douglas
> The Crisis