The CLEVELAND ADVOCATE was an African American newspaper that flourished during the period of World War I and the great migration from the South. It was established on 15 May 1914 by ORMOND ADOLPHUS FORTE, a native of Barbados, British West Indies. According to Forte, who began working for the M. A. HANNA CO. after his arrival in Cleveland, the Advocate was launched with the financial backing of his employer, DANIEL RHODES HANNA. As the voice of moderate black leadership, the 8-page weekly was the logical successor of the CLEVELAND JOURNAL and the inevitable antagonist of the militant CLEVELAND GAZETTE. With America's entry into the war, the Advocate's position began to harden, as Forte protested against segregated training camps for black soldiers. Ralph W. Tyler of Columbus, who joined the Advocate as contributing editor, went to France as war correspondent, where he exposed the efforts of some American officers to impose their own racist attitudes upon their French counterparts. Returning home, Tyler helped Forte produce a 16-page "Soldiers' Edition" for the Advocate of 14 June 1919. During the 1920 presidential election, Forte withheld his endorsement almost until the last minute before giving Republican nominee Warren G. Harding an unenthusiastic nod. Forte's efforts to keep the Advocate afloat failed by 1924, although he subsequently published 2 more weeklies, the CLEVELAND HERALD and the Cleveland Eagle, along the same lines as the Advocate.

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