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African American Newspapers

African American newspapers have lent much to the rich social, political, and economic textures of North American society. Eclectic in content and style, and established in every region of the United States, these papers have been valuable, but often overlooked, contributors to journalism and mass media history. Today, these newspapers continue to provide a forum for African American experiences, accomplishments, and challenges. This entry first discusses the history, growth, and development of Black-owned newspapers. It then discusses the challenges facing African American newspapers and the papers’ continued vitality.

Early Beginnings

Freedom’s Journal published its premier issue on March 16, 1827, in New York, becoming the first newspaper owned and operated by African Americans. Its two founders were men known for their avid support of the local African ...

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