- Carolyn Calloway-Thomas
- and Marilyn Kern-Foxworth
History was made on 16 March 1827, when the first black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, was founded in New York City by the black antislavery spokesmen Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm and became a vehicle to galvanize black communities around the issues of slavery, freedom, and lynching. The newspaper appeared 137 years, or seven generations, after the first colonial American newspaper, Publick Occurrences, was published in Boston during 1690. The role played by African American women in the initial creation of the black press is not known because few sources document their journalistic activities as often as they do their male counterparts. The first provable instance of black women’s participation in journalism did make a dramatic debut over two decades after the launch of Freedom’s Journal, when Mary Ann Shadd Cary published a black abolitionist newspaper, the Provincial Freeman in Canada during the 1850s Still ...
A version of this article originally appeared in Black Women in America, 2nd ed.