By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA
On March 16, 1827, Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm founded the first Black-owned newspaper in the United States.
They did so because there were no Black voices in the debate over the abolition of slavery.
In their first editorial, Cornish and Russwurm wrote: “in short, whatever concerns us as a people, will ever find a ready admission into the Freedom’s Journal.”
“One hundred and ninety-five years later, the mission of the Black Press has not changed,” Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes wrote in an editorial. ” No matter whether Black Press journalists are invited to a seat at ‘their’ table, the voices of those the Black Press represents will always have a seat at ours,” Rolark Barnes wrote.
From Freedom’s Journal to the North Star to John Abbott’s Chicago Defender, African American-owned newspapers have sparked fires for truth and equality that have burned with the passion of fighting for freedom throughout history.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 marked the 195th anniversary of the Black Press of America, whose global impact remains undeniable. It all begin with freedom’s journal.
On March 16, 1827, they announced its presence with a front page that contained these words: “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.” The 4-page edition included stories about the struggle to end the horrors of slavery, lynching, and social injustice.