Still Pleading Our Own Cause: The Black Press Celebrates 190 Years

By | March 17, 2017

The oldest Black business industry in America began 190 years ago today.

On March 16, 1827, the first edition of the “Freedom’s Journal” was published, thrusting African-Americans into the bustling publishing business.

At the time, Blacks in America weren’t even considered citizens, most were slaves and forbidden to read or write.

However, John Russwurm and Reverend Samuel Cornish rose up bravely declaring that, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”

Dorothy Leavell, publisher of the historic “Chicago Crusader” newspaper which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015, said that when Russwurm and Cornish established the Black Press by publishing the “Freedom’s Journal,” they wanted to provide a voice for Black people. The Black Press became one of the only means of communication between Black people. (Black Press USA)

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