African-American newspapers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from African American newspapers)
Jump to: navigation, search

African-American newspapers are those newspapers in the United States that seek readers primarily of African-American descent. These newspapers came into existence in 1827 when Samuel Cornish and John Brown Russwurm started the first African-American periodical called Freedom's Journal. During the antebellum South, other African-American newspapers sprang forth, such as The North Star founded by Frederick Douglass. As African Americans moved to urban centers around the country, virtually every large city with a significant African-American population soon had newspapers directed towards African Americans. Today, these newspapers have gained audiences outside African-American circles.


116th Anniversary of the Negro Press, by artist Charles Henry Alston, 1907-1977


Most of these publications, like Freedom's Journal's (1758–99), were published in the north and then distributed, often covertly, to African Americans throughout the country. Blacks' ability to establish many environments and black neighborhoods in the North led to the first wave of publications. By the 20th century, daily papers appeared in Norfolk, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

19th century[edit]

In the late 19th century the main reason that the papers were created was to uplift the black community. Many blacks sought to assimilate into larger society, and Northern blacks felt it their duty to educate southern blacks on the mores of Victorian society. Many African-American newspapers struggled to keep their circulation going due to the low rate of literacy among African Americans. Many Freed Africans had low incomes and could not afford to purchase subscriptions, but shared the publications with one another.[1]

Modern day[edit]

There were many black publications, such as those of Marcus Garvey and John H. Johnson. These men broke a wall that let black people into society as successful human beings. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder is Minnesota's oldest Black newspaper and the United States oldest ongoing minority publication, second only to The Jewish World.

The future of African-American newspapers[edit]

Many Black newspapers that began publishing in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s went out of business because they could not attract enough advertising and economic decline. They were also a victim of their own substantial efforts to eradicate racism and promote civil rights. As of 2002, 200 Black newspapers remained. As of 2010, there has been a resurgence of online African-American news organizations, most notably Black News, The Grio, and Black Voices. With the decline of print media and proliferation of internet access, more and more black news websites are popping up every day.

List of African-American newspapers in the United States[edit]

Newsboy selling the Chicago Defender, April 1942
The Colored American front page November 25, 1899

List of African-American online news organizations in the United States[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rhodes, Jane (1998). Mary Ann Shadd Carry: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century. Bloomington, In: Indiana University Press. pp. 120–123. ISBN 0-253-21350-9. 
  2. ^ Business, Family (2012-01-12). ""Recap: Alexis Scott Shares Atlanta Daily World History on Family Business Radio", Family Business Radio, January 12, 2012". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 

External links[edit]