"They Say," The Boston Advocate, Dec 4, 1886
Example of Lillian A. Lewis' society news column "They Say," written under her pseudonym "Bert Islew" for The Boston Advocate (and distinghuished as such from reprints from other publications through the sub-heading "specially reported for the Advocate"). "They Say" offers a wide variety of information loosely tied together by similar themes or similar expressions. Lewis' writing is thus less concerned with potentially scandalous content that might be shared under the veil of anonymity suggested by "They Say." Instead, her column offers a contemplation on all the possible information shared via hearsay, gossip, or common sense via the repetation of "they say ... that." Many of these listed items are humorous in tone ("they say that people are saying the most ridiculous things that you ever heard") or written tongue in cheeck ("... that every family should possess a copy of the ADVOCATE next week"). Lewis/Islew, however, also includes references to weddings and other social events among prominent families, to the travels and state of health of authors and politicians, and to fashion and fashionable places.
News about social events are also included in The Boston Advocate via regular features like "Bridgeport Gleanings," in which readers are informed about church meetings and political appointments in the respective towns, but also about the vacation destination and receptions of prominent members of these communities.
The Boston Advocate (1885–19??) was a Black-owned newspaper, published every Saturday, and "Devoted to the interests of the colored people of the United States and Canada."