In 1901, Trotter and his friend, George W. Forbes, established the weekly news publication, Boston Guardian. Like many other publishers of African-American newspapers, Trotter and Forbes used their publication as a forum to not only expose racism and oppression, but to develop a voice for African-Americans throughout the United States. From its earliest printing, the Guardian was considered “the outstanding Negro newspaper devoted to political agitation.” The newspaper was important to fighting against lynching, disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the South, injustices occurring throughout the United States and segregation. In particular, Trotter used the Guardian to actively protest the following:
- Booker T. Washington’s philosophy of accommodation.
- Campaigned against Thomas Dixon’s play, The Clansman in 1905.
- Segregation in the workplaces of the federal government.
- Picketed Birth of a Nation in 1915.
W.E.B. Du Bois attested to the influence and effectiveness of the Guardian by writing, “The Guardian was bitter, satirical, and personal; but it was earnest, and it published facts. It attracted wide attention among colored people; it circulated among them all over the country; it was quoted and discussed. I did not wholly agree with the Guardian, and indeed only a few Negroes did, but nearly all read it and were influenced by it.”