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
Drum, July 1956
Drum, June 1957. On the cover: Miriam Makeba.
Drum, 1950s (West African edition). On the cover: Lena Horne.
Drum, September 1957
Drum, July 1955
The African Drum, June 1951
Drum (West African edition), April 1955
Drum, May 1956
Drum, 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