Timeline of the Black Press


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1827

Freedom's Journal, the first African-American Newspaper, is founded in New York City by John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish.

1828

The anti-slavery journal, the African Journal, is published in Philadelphia; while another anti-slavery journal, the National Philanthropist, is founded in Boston.


1829

Samuel Cornish changes the name of Freedom's Journal to The Rights of All; however, all publication ends less than six months later.


1839

A freed-black newspaper is started in Columbus, OH known as Palladium of Liberty.


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1841

The first black newspaper in Philadelphia, called The Demosthenian Shield, is published.


1847

The North Star begins publication in Rochester, NY. It is co-founded and co-edited by Frederick Douglass and Martin Delaney.


Frederick Douglass

1852

Mary Ann Shadd Cary creates a prototype of The Provincial Protoype, which urges black Americans to emigrate to Canada following the passage of The Fugitive Slave Law.
The official organ of the AME Church, the Christian Organ, begins. It is the longest running African-American newspaper to date.


1855

Melvin Gibbs publishes the first black paper in California called The Mirror of the Times (San Francisco).


1861

Over 40 black owned and operated newspapers exist throughout the United States.


1863

An appeal for Black men in northern states to answer the call of the Union Army begins in Douglass' Monthly. It is considered the best way to win the war of equality. This is considered the predecessor to the Double V campaign of the early 1900s.


1864

The New Orleans Tribune becomes the first daily newspaper in the United States. It publishes both an English and a French version.


1866

PBS Pinchback, the first black governor in the United States, begins the first semi-weekly newspaper in the United States. It was known as the New Orleans Louisianan.


1888

The first illustrated journal, the Indianapolis Freeman, is published by Edward Elder Cooper.


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1890

The Associated Correspondents of Race Newspapers is formed.


1892

The Afro-American is founded by Rev. William Alexander. On the East Coast, it becomes the largest black-owned publication. Later that year, it is purchased by John H. Murphy, Sr.
Additionally, the first black medical journal, the Medical and Surgical Observer, begins publication under Miles V. Lynk.


1894

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin founds the first newspaper written for and by women. The Women's Era becomes the official paper of The National Association of Colored Women.
The Indianapolis Recorder begins publication the same year.


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1905

The Chicago Defender is started by Robert S. Abbott.


1907

Edward Nathaniel Harleston establishes the Pittsburgh Courier.

1909

A weekly, known as the Amsterdam News, is established by James H. Anderson.


1910

PB Young, Sr. purchases the Norfolk Journal and Guide.
Crisis magazine, the official paper of the NAACP, is published and edited by WEB Dubois.


WEB Dubois

1915

Encouragement in the Chicago Defender leads to the Great Migration north for Southern blacks. The paper also adopts the slogan "if you must die, take at least one with you."


1919

Claude Barnett founds the Associated Negro Press (ANP).


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1923

The official paper of the Urban League, Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life, begins publication.


1925

A paper staffed entirely by women, the Chicago Bee, is published.


1928

The Atlanta Daily World begins publication under William Alexander Scott. It is the first successful black daily newspaper, though it did not become daily until 1932.


1929

Black newspapers throughout the country support the Double V campaign (victory abroad, victory in America). The Chicago Whip launches it with the "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work" campaign.


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1935

The American Newspaper Guild, the first guild at a black newspaper, is established.
The same year, the black press helps promote pan-Africanism as Blacks unite to support Ethiopia in its fight against Italy.


1942

An unofficial FBI investigation begins against the black press.
The Pittsburgh Courier launches another Double V campaign.
Army Intelligence begins to seek methods for preventing distribution of black newspapers.


1827|1841|1861|1890|1905|1923|1935|1942|1960

1960

Elijah Muhammad founds the weekly newspaper, Muhammed Speaks, which is the official paper of the Nation of Islam. It later changes its name to the Final Call.


1967

The Black Panther Paper, based in Oakland, CA, is published.


1969

Moneta Sleet of Jet Magazine is named the first black photographer to win a Pulitzer Prize for feature of photojournalism.


Award-winning photograph of Coretta Scott King and her daughter, Bernice, at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1963

The Association of Black Journalists is formed in Philadelphia. This organization is the predecessor to the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).


1975

Forty-four black news reporters form the National Association of Black Journalists in Washington, DC.


This timeline was created with the assistance of two timelines (the Black Journalism Timeline and the Black Press: Soldiers without Swords Comprehensive Timeline).



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