Newspapers owned by African Americans caused conversations for the truth and equal opportunity. On Monday, March 16, 2020 the one hundred ninety-third anniversary of the Black Press of America was commemorated and still continues to be irrefutable worldwide. This was generated by The Freedom’s Journal, the first newspaper for African Americans, distributed by John B. Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish.
Russwurm and Cornish publicized the newspaper’s inaugural issue with the first page containing the words, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us” on March 16, 1827. The newspaper contained stories about the fight to abolish slavery, hangings and murders, and social inequality. The newspaper also notified African Americans of global news. Biographies pertaining to African American men and women, school opportunities, job prospects, and housing openings were highlighted in the newspaper. Karen Carter Richards, Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), believes that it is utterly important to under the role the Black Press plays in broadcasting and documenting our history.
What is the NNPA? The NNPA is the nationwide trade organization signifying American’s Black Press. According to Richards, Black Press Week will be postponed due to the Coronavirus. From the start, Black Press has suffered in order to publish and nothing will stop the publication of the newspaper. Hampton believed the Freedom’s journal deserved all the credit for the founding of over two hundred African American retained newspapers across the world. The newspaper even now is telling the stories which Freedom’s Journal sponsored. Stories such as political rights for all races, voting rights for all races, and the great accomplishments of African Americans that other ordinary newspapers wouldn’t publish. Hampton believes the creators and publishing supervisor would be proud to know NNPA deferred Black Press Week for the well-being and protection of attendees foremost, notwithstanding how much the value of Black Press means, shows that the leadership is great.
The publisher of the Houston Defender Network and previous chair of the NNPA, Sonny Messiah Jiles believes the rescheduling of Black Press Week is the right step to take because it concurs with the international reaction to the coronavirus. The birthday of the Black Press is a aide-mémoire for the influences permanently linked with its bravery, perseverance, and achievements. Frederick Douglass, WEB DuBois, Ida. B. Wells, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, and Dr. Carlton Goodlett, previous NNPA Chairmen were some of those many influences. The North Star was established by Douglass who cultivated it into the most powerful African American newspaper printed through the Antebellum age. He also aided the escape of salves to the North using the Underground Railroad. The North Star condemned slavery fighting for the freedom of women and other subjugated groups with a motto of, “Right is of no Sex – Truth is of no Color; God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.”
The Black Press continues, as of today where they can, to spread across the ocean to build unions with the increasing number of websites and distinct publications that involve Africa daily from on the continent, Perry stated. The eldest black business in America, the Black Press, had owners raise awareness of chattel slavery during the nineteenth century, Jim cCrow laws and lynching, the great northern migration, the Civil Rights Movement, the conversion of the printing press to the digital age and electronic communication. The result of the Plessy vs. Ferguson was African American publications to support African American rights and protest the many wrongs done to African Americans. Nowadays, the Black Press remains fighting local and worldwide issues, as well as the coronavirus and its effects on everyone but primarily African Americans. NNPA President stated that this is an important story pertaining to the past of the Black Press of America that has steadily been the freedom fighting voice for the Africans in America and across the world for one hundred ninety-three years with pause or falsified information.
Stacy M. Brown is the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Newswire Senior Correspondent. My textbook readings did shed light on African American Newspapers on pages 228, 233, 343, 360, and 361. History is used by the author because African Americans Newspaper were used to gain awareness, freedom, jobs, and housing opportunities. Primary source isn’t given. I learned that African American lives still do matter and just like newspapers were significant back then, they still are significant not, in fact, they are even more significant now.