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Star, 24 February 1921. Newport News: Matthew N. Lewis.
Although the Newport News Star was published weekly from 1901 through the 1930s, few copies are known to be extant. The masthead of this issue billed it as "the Only Negro Journal on the Peninsula" and urged readers to subscribe if they "Want to Keep in Touch With the Progress of the Race."
The Star was owned and edited by Matthew N. Lewis (1859-1926), a Georgia native and graduate of Howard University. Lewis moved to Petersburg, Virginia, in 1882 and began work as an agent for the Lancet, a local black weekly, and served as campaign secretary for John Mercer Langston in his successful bid to become Virginia's first African American congressman. About that time, Lewis established his own paper, the weekly Petersburg Herald, in partnership with another Howard graduate, Scott Wood. The partners had a falling out, and early in the 1890s Lewis moved to Norfolk, where in 1896 he started the Recorder, which enthusiastically backed the Republican Party in that year's presidential campaign. The next year, Lewis ambitiously expanded the paper into an afternoon daily, but it proved unprofitable. Lewis then moved to Newport News, where he became a customhouse inspector and launched the weekly Star. He edited the paper until his death in 1926. The Star continued under the guidance of J. Thomas Newsome (1869-1942) until 1940, when it was absorbed into the Norfolk Journal and Guide.