Send us your

company news! Share

your organization's information.

Send releases to


40th Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Dinner

May 5, 2018, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Genesee Grande, 1060 East Genesee St, Syracuse

 Follow syrpressclub on Twitter
Poynter - A global leader in journalism.

Emanuel "Blair" Henderson Sr.

The Progressive Herald

Emmanuel Blair Henderson was a columnist for The Progressive Herald, an African-American newspaper in Syracuse during the 1940s and 1950s -- a time when black people weren't included as employees in mainstream media.
Syracuse's Progressive Herald was one among several local weekly newspapers that sprung up in urban communities across the country that documented the lives of African-Americans.

From the book "Flashbacks," noted author John A. Williams takes us through a 26-year diary of articles, writing in the introduction about Syracuse and its black community and documenting the influence of The Progressive Herald Newspaper at a time when community diversity was not recognized.

"Mr. Sylvahn was editor and publisher of The Progressive Herald, a black weekly newspaper in Syracuse that served other black communities throughout central New York State. Like Jet magazine today, everyone sneered at the PH, but they bought it," wrote Williams. "Its tabloid format, varying from four to six, and on rare occasions eight pages, contained local news as it affected Syracuse Negros, general black news culled from the large black weeklies, a society section run by Mrs. Sylvahn, and a gossip column called at one time 'The Periscope.'" This last was written by a former high school track star, Emanuel Henderson, known fondly by nearly everyone as "Emo."

Henderson credits Mr. Sylvahn with leadership of the news weekly "under which my writing bloomed."

Henderson wrote for at least 10 years under columns called, "The Periscope" and "This 'n' That." It was a gossip column, but he often challenged the white establishment's racist actions and was the voice of the African-American community. He also wrote other articles and an occasional sports column, which included interviews with Jackie Robinson and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Don Caldwell, who has been a voice of memory for the African-American community in Syracuse for many of his 80 years, said Henderson's column was widely read and that Henderson was a vocal activist.

In 2004 Emanuel Blair Henderson Sr. received a Lifetime Recognition Award from the Syracuse/Onondaga County NAACP. A life member of the NAACP, Henderson has served on the chapter's executive board and Legal Redress Committee. He also is a charter member of the Benjamin Banneker Democratic Club.

Henderson and his wife Muriel reside in Lyncourt. They raised four children, and have 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
    "Their constant yelping about a free press means, with a few honorable exceptions, freedom to peddle scandal, crime, sex, sensationalism, hate, innuendo and the political and financial uses of propaganda. A newspaper is a business out to make money through advertising revenue. That is predicated on the circulation and you know what circulation depends on."
--Raymond Chandler

Wall of Distinction

The Syracuse press Club would like to send its condolences to the family of long-time channel 3 and WSYR radio reporter Jerry Barsha.  Barsha died September 10th at the Cleveland Clinic where he was undergoing treatment. He was 83.

Funeral services will be Tuesday at the Sisskind Funeral Chapel at 3175 East Genesee Street, Syracuse at 11am. Calling hours will immediately precede the services at the funeral home beginning at 10 am.

Jerry was a native of Brooklyn, who like many central New York broadcasters settled in the Syracuse area after attending and graduating Syracuse University.   Jerry's career at what was then WSYR-TV 3 and WSYR Radio began in 1957, where he worked in both radio and television news. Jerry worked for 32 years at the station before retiring.  He also taught for 35 years at Onondaga Community College.  Jerry was a Syracuse Press Club Wall of Distinction honoree and a winner of the club's lifetime achievement award. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Martha, four daughters, and six grandchildren.

Here is a link to our page on Jerry, when he was installed on the Wall of Distinction

Who's Online?

We have 28 guests online