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Former editorsShirley Graham Du Bois, Esther Cooper Jackson
FounderLouis Burnham, Edward Strong, W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois
First issueSpring 1961; 63 years ago (1961)
Final issueFall 1985 (1985)
CompanyFreedomways Associates, Inc.
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City

Freedomways was the leading African-American theoretical, political and cultural journal of the 1960s–1980s.[1] It began publishing in 1961 and ceased in 1985.[2]

The journal's founders were Louis Burnham, Edward Strong, W. E. B. Du Bois, and its first general editor was Shirley Graham Du Bois. It was later edited by Esther Cooper Jackson. For a time, Alice Walker was a contributing editor.[1] The mission was to reflect and possibly influence the rising tide of activism in the U.S., both politically and culturally.[3]

Freedomways reported on the progressive political movements of the time and especially the American civil rights movement, uniting the diverse perspectives of the North and the South, but was also notable for its international scope in the era of anti-colonial victories and Pan-Africanism, an aspect that contributor, editor, and writing solicitor John Henrik Clarke emphasized.[1] The journal published articles, poetry, commentary, short stories, book reviews, readers' forum, and artwork.[3]

In addition to noted African-American intellectuals and artists whose work appeared in Freedomways (among them writers James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Paul Robeson, Nikki Giovanni, Lorraine Hansberry, and visual artists Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and Brumsic Brandon Jr.), the journal published the work of international literary authors (such as Pablo Neruda and Derek Walcott) and political leaders and intellectuals (among them Kwame Nkrumah, Julius K. Nyerere, Agostinho Neto, Jomo Kenyatta, Claudia Jones and C. L. R. James).[1] Prominent entertainers and artists such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, and Harry Belafonte were consistently involved with Freedomways' publication during most of the journal's existence.[4]

See also[edit]

Freedom newspaper


  1. ^ a b c d Turner, Melissa (18 December 2009). "Freedomways (1961-1985)". The Black Past. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "Alphabetical listings of reprints and antiquarian stock". Periodicals.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Freedomways Magazine and the Roots of the Fight for Rights". Black Agenda Report. 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2023-10-12.
  4. ^ Rocksborough-Smith, Ian (2005). Bearing the seeds of struggle: Freedomways Magazine, Black Leftists, and Continuities in the Freedom Movement (PDF) (M.A. thesis). Simon Fraser University.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]