In a column for Truthdig, Bill Boyarsky writes about Almena Lomax, founder of the Los Angeles Tribune, as "a crusading journalist, one of many reporters and editors who toiled away on African-American newspapers—the Negro Leagues of journalism—exposing the racism ignored by the white papers that refused to hire them." Lomax died in Pasadena last month. She was called in the Los Angeles Times obituary “a leading figure in African-American journalism, known for her sharp opinions and independent spirit.” From Boyarsky:
I used to talk with Almena Lomax on the telephone while I was with the Los Angeles Times. Our first conversation was unpleasant. She berated me for my coverage of Tom Bradley, the African-American mayor of Los Angeles. She said I was jealous of Bradley’s abilities and I was prejudiced against all black people. A day or two later, Melanie Lomax phoned. She said she had heard her mother had called. Yes, she did, I said. Melanie told me a bit about her mother and her difficult career, limited by bigotry.
Later, Almena Lomax called me again. Our conversation was pleasant and interesting. We talked about the city and politics. She told me about the old days in the Los Angeles African-American community when she and her husband, Lucius Lomax Jr., began the Tribune. She talked about Central Avenue, the heart of the black community. With still a touch of wonder in her voice, she told me how she, a young woman working on the newspaper late at night, was watched over and protected by the elegantly dressed men with their Cadillacs and Lincolns parked in front of the avenue’s legendary clubs. She was such a good storyteller it was easy to visualize the scene. We talked on the phone a few more times and then, through my neglect, the conversations stopped.