The Abbott Institute

501 (c) (3)

Robert Sengstacke Abbott was in the forefront of the earliest civil rights efforts in the United States. In 1905 he founded a newspaper, The Chicago Defender, which became the largest and most influential black publication in the country during more than half of the last century. This was his pulpit and from it he ceaselessly fought racism, educating his readers to demand their right to equality and making the world aware of the atrocities his people had endured.


Even today Robert Abbott is widely regarded as the greatest single force in African-American journalism. Lawrence D. Hogan commented in his 1984 study of this country’s black newspapers that Abbott “was the pioneer for the Negro press as Hearst was for the White metropolitan press.”


In 2015, Kevin Pullen, Artist in Residence at the College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, Georgia, sculpted a bust titled Robert S. Abbott and His Newsboys.


In collaboration with Kevin, the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute is seeking to honor this great civil rights leader by having four bronze copies of the bust produced. Three of these works of art will be presented for permanent display in the following locations:


Original clay carving of the bust, Robert S. Abbott and His Newsboys, on display at the 2018 International Festival at the College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, Georgia



In 1889 Robert Abbott entered this institution, founded as the Hampton Institute in 1868 to educate former slaves. It was here that he refined his skills as a printer. Today, the sprawling campus has 5,000 students and offers 48 baccalaureate, 23 masters, and eight doctoral programs. Hampton will celebrate its 150th anniversary in April of next year and the unveiling of the bust in the university’s museum will take place at that time.


Kevin Pullen,  sculptor of the bust we want to bronze, is also a graduate of Hampton University.

Founded in 1967 primarily to oversee the annual Bud Billiken parade which was initiated by Robert Abbott in 1929 and is still the largest African-American parade in the country. This organization also performs extensive work in providing scholarships for needy high school graduates as well as food and clothing for disadvantaged families.

We are finalizing details for a third bust to be located at a National Historic Site and will announce details regarding this location in the near future.


The fourth copy of the bust will be loaned on a temporary basis by the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute to museums and other appropriate venues throughout the country.

Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia

Chicago Defender Charities Headquarters, Chicago, Illinois

Work of Art to Honor Civil Rights Leader



USMail: P.O. Box 1834 | Brunswick, GA  31521