Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 16: First Black-Owned Newspaper

On this date in History .... 1827:

Freedom’s Journal” became the first black-owned and operated newspaper in the United States, established the same year that slavery was abolished in New York state.  The paper’s primary purpose was to counter the other pro-slavery and racist papers already in publication. The editors began their first publication with the words, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. Too long has the publick (sic) been deceived by misrepresentations, in things which concern us dearly."

It not only provided local and national news but also published weddings, birth and death announcements, job postings for African Americans and profiled successful African-Americans such as Phyllis Wheatley (first published black poet). Its two-year existence helped over forty black-owned newspapers become established by the Civil War.

All issues of the paper can be found at the Wisconsin Historical Society (this link):
click here to read "Freedom's Journal"

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