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Norman Lockman papers

Identifier: MSS 0865

Scope and Contents

The Norman Lockman papers, spanning the dates 1954-2004, document the successful career of the News Journal’s first African American journalist. The collection consists primarily of newspaper clippings and articles, with correspondence, research notes for articles, biographical information, manuscripts, memorabilia, awards and some personal records.

The collection is divided into five series:

Series I, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, documents Lockman’s earliest days as a journalist, including articles from the Kennett News and Advertiser both as a high school student and after his discharge from the Air Force and his writing published in Kennett High School’s magazine, the Old Kennett. This series also includes a small collection of clippings from the Penn State University student newspaper The Daily Collegian.

Series II, Air Force and Desert Wings, documents Lockman’s work as a correspondent and editor of Desert Wings, the Edwards Air Force Base newspaper. Also includes material related to Lockman’s coursework at the Army Information School.

Series III, News Journal, contains a large collection of clippings and articles by Lockman during his long and bifurcated career at the News Journal, including the “Counterpoint” column. This series is divided into two subseries, which aligns with his tenure at the News Journal, 1969-1975 and 1984-2004, respectively.

Series IV, Boston Globe, comprises of clippings, full articles, drafts, and research for Lockman’s work at the Boston Globe, including his series on Zimbabwe and “Boston: The Race Factor.”

Series V, Personal, includes biographical information, draft manuscripts from Lockman’s high school days, academic information from both Penn State and the University of Delaware, a copy of his Pulitzer Prize certificate, press badges and letters to the editor published in other news magazines.


  • Creation: 1954-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1969-2004


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

This collection contains digital content that can be viewed on request. Please contact manuscripts staff for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

Norman Lockman (July 11, 1938-April 18, 2005), a political journalist in Delaware and Massachusetts, was the first African American journalist and former managing editor of the Wilmington News Journal.

Lockman grew up in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, a small town in southeastern Pennsylvania near the Delaware line. While not legally segregated, Kennett Square was a socially segregated community during Lockman’s childhood; his family was one of only three African American families living in the area. In high school, Lockman began his journalism career covering little league baseball for the weekly paper, the Kennett News and Advertiser, and later covered high school sports, both for the Kennett News and Advertiser and his high school magazine Old Kennett. He graduated from Kennett High School in 1956.

After graduating, Lockman attended Pennsylvania State University, working for the campus newspaper The Daily Collegian, spending more time working on the paper than his studies. Lockman did not earn a degree from Penn State.

After leaving Penn State, and being unable to get a job at the News Journal due to his race, Lockman enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1961. Stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Lockman began working for the base newspaper, Desert Wings in the winter of 1962. While stationed at Edwards, he became editor for the paper.

In 1965, Lockman, discharged from the Air Force as an Airman Second Class, returned to Kennett Square and began working as a social worker. He continued to write for the Kennett News and Advertiser (known locally as “the Agonizer”), and began writing his own weekly column titled “Beyond the Norm.”

In 1969, a year after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and a nine month occupation of Wilmington, Delaware by the Delaware National Guard, Lockman was hired by the News Journal as the first full-time African American journalist. When he started, Lockman was on general assignment, quickly moving up to cover city hall in Wilmington, then state-level politics as government editor and finally Washington bureau chief. Lockman was in DC when the Watergate story broke. During his time at the News Journal, in addition to covering politics and government, Lockman began writing a regular column titled “Counterpoint.”

In 1975, Lockman moved to Boston and began working for the Boston Globe as statehouse bureau chief and a member of the editorial board. During his time at the Globe, Lockman spend a month in Zimbabwe, writing a six-part series in 1980 on life in Zimbabwe at the beginning of Robert Mugabe’s rise to power. In 1983, Lockman was part of a team of reporters, including Kenneth Cooper, Joan FitzGerald, Jonathan Kaufman, Gary McMillan, Kirk Scharfenberg and David Wessel, who did a 16 month investigation called “Boston: The Race Factor,” examining ongoing race issues in the Boston area. “Boston: The Race Factor” won a 1984 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

In 1984, Lockman returned to Wilmington to serve as the News Journal’s managing editor, a position he held for seven years. Lockman resumed his “Counterpoint” column, and in 1991, became a nationally syndicated columnist. In 1995, Lockman earned a Masters of Arts in Liberal Arts from the University of Delaware.

Lockman continued to write for the News Journal until November 2004, after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease for a number of years. Lockman died at age 66 in April 2005.


Long, Tom. "Norman Lockman, 66: part of Pulitzer-winning effort." The Boston Globe, April 20, 2005. (accessed June 14, 2018).

"Norman Lockman." Obituaries. News Journal, April 19, 2005. (accessed June 14, 2018).

Penn State Public Broadcasting Creative Group. "Norman Lockman." African American Chronicles / Black History at Penn State. (accessed June 14, 2018).

Additional biographical information derived from the collection.


1.5 linear foot (2 boxes)

3.18 megabyte (1 PDF file)

3 oversize box

Metadata Rights Declarations


Norman Lockman, a political journalist in Delaware and Massachusetts, was the first African American journalist and former managing editor of the Wilmington News Journal. The Norman Lockman papers, consisting mostly of newspaper clippings and articles, documents Lockman’s journalism career at the Wilmington News Journal and Boston Globe.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Virginia Lockman, March 2008

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MSS 0745 Russell W. Peterson papers

Shelving Summary

  1. Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
  2. Boxes 2 and 4: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)
  3. Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)
  4. Box 5: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons (6 inches)

OCLC Number

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by John Caldwell, 2018.

Finding aid for Norman Lockman papers
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2018 June 14
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023 January 13: A typo in the biographical note stating that Lockman stopped writing for the News Journal in 2014 was corrected to 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA