Controlling Your Own Narrative: The Story of America’s First Black Newspaper

On March 16, 1827, the Freedom’s Journal, became the first newspaper published in the United States that was owned and operated by African-Americans. The newspaper was founded by Rev. Peter Williams Jr and other free black men in New York City. The two editors that were picked by the founders were Samuel Cornish and John B. Russworm and their main focus was to combat the negative stereotypes about African American put out by all-white publications that also spoke highly of slavery and aimed at maintaining societal inequalities.

The newspaper was published weekly and covered everything from birth’s and death’s in the African-American community to anti-slavery editorials and other articles combating injustice. The Freedom Journal provided news about domestic and foreign issues that related to the black community specifically. The editors of the newspaper felt that creating a high-quality publication would not only empower the community but promote literacy and intellectual development amongst the black community. The newspaper only lasted two years, closing its doors in 1829.

Even though the newspaper was only in publication for a short time. The impact caused a profound ripple effect in the black community. Three decades later, there were over 40 black-owned and operated newspapers in the united states.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

blackpast.org

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