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William Monroe Trotter (April 7, 1872-April 7, 1934) was an independent-minded and fiercely principled advocate for racial justice in his time. Hailing from a Boston family with a tradition of activism, Trotter founded a newspaper in his hometown called The Guardian in 1901 and dedicated it to the struggle for equal rights for Blacks. He would edit the paper until his death in 1934, and his writing constituted the soul of its editorial voice. Both through The Guardian and in his work as an organizer and activist, Trotter's opposition to segregation and support for the expansion of voting rights for Blacks were as consistent and fervent as his withering criticism of Black leaders who didn't live up to his high standards of independence or share considerably in his views. Often branded as a radical, Trotter played a critical role in the early civil rights movement and left a colorful and vitally important legacy.