Significant Dates in the History of African American Journalists

Updated: May 28, 2013
  1. 1827  Freedom’s Journal, the nation’s first Black newspaper, is launched in New York City by the Reverend Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm.
  2. 1833 The New York Sun, the first successful Penny Press newspaper, ushers in mass media in the United States. The publi sher, Benjamin Day, is pro-slavery.
  3. 1847  Will Hodges, an African-American, and Thomas van Rensselaer publish The Ram’s Head after the New York Sun editors tell Hodges that the Sun does not shine for Black people.
  4. 1864 The New Orleans Tribune, printed in both English and French, becomes the first Black daily newspaper in the United States. Thomas Morris Chester becomes the first Black correspondent for a major daily newspaper when he is hired as a Civil War correspondent for the Philadelphia Press.
  5. 1889  Henry O.Flipper, the first Black to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, becomes the first Black editor of a white-owned newspaper, the Arizona Sunday Herald.
  6. 1890  The US Census records 310 Black journalists in the United States.
  7. 1892  Ida B.Wells flees Memphis after the office where she published Free Speech is destroyed because of her crusade against the lynching of Black men.
  8. 1900 Brooker T.Washington, the nation’s most prominent African American, society subsidizes several Black newspapers and promotes accomodation to Jim Crow.
  9. 1901  William Monroe Trotter, a Black Harvard graduate, begins publishing the Guardian, which challenges Washington’s accomodationist  stance. He edits the paper until his death in 1934.
  10. 1902 Lester Walton is hired to cover general news and sports for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, a mainstream daily, and, in 1906, The Star Sayings, which became the St.Louis Star

Information connected from Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media by Pamela Newkirk


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