Robert S. Abbott
In 1905, Robert S. Abbott founded The Chicago Defender, which became the most widely circulated black newspaper in the country, came to be known as “America’s Black Newspaper” and made Abbott one of the first self-made millionaires of African-American descent.
Abbott met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1912 covering a talk of his during his stay in Chicago during his journeys in the West and was listed as a frequenter of Bahá’í events in Chicago with his wife in 1924. The Defender published several articles about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit (see links below).
After inventing the fictional character “Bud Billiken” with David Kellum, Abbott established the Bud Billiken Club and in 1929 Abbott and Kellum founded the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic.
After searching through several religious communities for an atmosphere free of race prejudice, even among “light skinned” African-Americans, Abbott officially joined the Bahá’í Faith in 1934 because of its freedom from such prejudice at the convention to elect its National Spiritual Assembly.