African American Press Essay Example
African American Press Essay Example

African American Press Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1105 words)
  • Published: November 1, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The front page of Freedom's Journal, the first African American-owned newspaper, declared a desire to advocate for themselves after being spoken for by others for far too long. The publication, which emerged in 1827 in New York City and was produced by a group of free African American men, served as a response to racist commentary found in mainstream media. With Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm serving as senior and junior editors respectively, this weekly four-page newspaper aimed to provide news on current events, stories, and columns that addressed contemporary issues such as denouncing slavery, advocating for black political rights and suffrage, and condemning lynching. By giving African Americans the freedom to express their ideas and thoughts through this owned publication - not the first of its kind but significant nonetheless - Cornish and Russwurm sought to empower t


heir community while also striving to improve conditions for over 300,000 newly freed individuals residing in the North.To achieve their goals, they recruited between 14 and 44 agents annually to gather subscriptions, compensating each agent with $3 per year for their efforts. The Freedom's Journal, a publication aimed at promoting black achievements and improving living conditions for African Americans, featured the lives of notable black figures and published information on job opportunities and housing listings. It circulated in 11 states, the District of Columbia, Haiti, Europe, and Canada before coming to an end in 1829. Throughout its existence, there was a change in leadership when Russwurm became the sole editor after Cornish resigned in 1827. Russwurm began supporting the Colonization Movement which was not well received by most readers of the newspaper. This movement focused

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on repatriating free African Americans back to Africa and resulted in a loss of many readers for Freedom's Journal. Consequently, the newspaper stopped publication in March 1829.
Despite its short lifespan, Freedom's Journal had a significant impact as it inspired the establishment of other African American newspapers. After its discontinuation, African Americans started creating and receiving newspapers themselves. One such attempt was made by Cornish in May 1829 when he tried to revive Freedom's Journal under the name The Rights of All; however this publication was unsuccessful and folded within a year.David Walker, who was associated with Freedom's Journal, became well-known for his involvement in the newspaper. He served as an agent and eventually gained renown beyond his role. Inspired by his connection to Freedom's Journal, Walker published a significant work called Entreaty in 1830. This publication encouraged enslaved individuals to rebel against their masters, as they sought to enslave and murder them without any remorse. It advocated for slaves to fight back, asserting that killing someone who intends to kill you is no more morally wrong than satisfying your own thirst. Another notable publication emerged in January 1837 under the name The Weekly Advocate but later changed its name to The Colored American on March 4th of the same year. Its main objective was to improve the moral, societal, and political status of colored people while advocating for the emancipation of slaves. The Colored American gained substantial recognition in the North thanks to widespread support from emancipationists, African-American churches, local abolition societies, and Caucasian allies. With 38 articles published, it became a prominent paper during that time period. The final edition of The Colored American

was released on Christmas Day in 1841.
The Provincial Freeman, the first African-American-owned newspaper in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, was published in 1854. The North Star, an anti-slavery newspaper established by Frederick Douglass in 1847, merged with the Liberty Party Paper in Rochester, New York. Published by the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in Washington, D.C., The National Era was established in 1847. The Liberator, published between 1831 and 1865 by William Lloyd Garrison in Boston, was widely recognized during that time period. Other significant anti-slavery newspapers include the Friend of Man and Emancipator (originally known as Genius of Universal Emancipation), both advocating for the abolishment of slavery. Benjamin Lundy founded the Emancipator in 1819. The National Anti-Slavery Standard began publishing in 1840. These newspapers all championed for ending slavery and securing civil rights for African Americans. By the start of the Civil War, more than 40 black-owned newspapers existed nationwide. After the war's conclusion, over 100 newspapers emerged with Baltimore African-American (also called The Afro) being a prominent publication founded by former slave John H. Murphy Sr.Today, The Afro is the oldest continuously operating African American family-owned newspaper in the United States. It was founded on May 5, 1905 by Robert Sengstacke Abbott as The Chicago Defender. This Afro-American newspaper featured writings from renowned authors like Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Willard Motley. In 1910, The Pittsburgh Courier was published in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and became the most widely circulated newspaper for African-Americans across America. At its peak, it had around 450,000 publications circulating and employed over 400 individuals in 14 cities. The paper focused on discussing important issues affecting African-American communities and advocating against segregation and

poverty while promoting social progress for black individuals. During the 1930s, The Pittsburgh Courier encouraged Black voters to support Democrats, establishing a political alliance that endures till today. Other notable publications during this period include The Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), and Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003). As Afro-American newspapers gained prominence, organizations were formed to support African-American journalists. In 1940, Robert Sengstacke Abbott joined other African-American publishers to establish the National Negro Publishers Association.
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), formerly known as the National Negro Publishers Association, is an organization consisting of more than 200 black newspapers in the United States and the Virgin Islands. It has played a crucial role in supporting the publication of over 200 black-owned newspapers. The NNPA, along with other organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), founded in 1975 by 44 Afro-American journalists, have made significant contributions to the African American population. Currently, there are approximately 250 African American newspapers in circulation according to Allied Media Corporation. These publications now focus on providing news and insights into African American culture, while also discussing various positions held by leaders, famous individuals, trendsetters, and great heads within the community. One notable publication mentioned is The Freedom's Journal which served as a platform for addressing issues concerning rights to life, autonomy, and pursuit of happiness for Afro-Americans. Preserving a legacy of black conservatism is also highlighted as important for future generations.The text contains information about early African American and anti-slavery newspapers, along with a list of black newspapers. It also mentions David Walker's

work titled "Walker's Appeal in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular and Very Expressly."

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