Deep appreciation to the Jacksonville Free Press for featuring the We Are Straight Allies campaign this week.
There are those in black and brown communities who openly support LGBT equality and the number is growing as we continue to educate and draw connections between our collective struggle and liberation. Thank you Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen, Rachel Thomas, Ronald Breaker, Darnell Smith, Luis H. Lopez and Rev. Victoria Hamilton for adding your voices to this movement.
“African-American newspapers are those newspapers in the United States that seek readers primarily of African-American descent. These newspapers came into existence in 1827 when Samuel Cornish and John Brown Russwurm started the first African-American periodical called Freedom’s Journal. During the antebellum South, other African-American newspapers sprang forth, such as The North Star founded by Frederick Douglass. As African Americans moved to urban centers around the country, virtually every large city with a significant African-American population soon had newspapers directed towards African Americans.
Most of these publications like Freedom’s Journal’s (1758–1799) were published in the north and then distributed, often covertly, to African Americans throughout the country. Blacks’ ability to establish many environments and black neighborhoods in the North led to the first wave of publications. By the 20th century, daily papers appeared in Norfolk, Kansas City, and Washington D.C.
In the late 19th century the main reason that the papers were created was for uplifting the black community. Many blacks sought to assimilate into larger society, and Northern blacks felt it their duty to educate southern blacks on the mores of Victorian society. Many African-American newspapers struggled to keep their circulation going due to the low rate of literate African Americans. Many Freed Africans had low incomes and could not afford to purchase subscriptions, but shared the publications with one another.”