Celebrate Black History Month 2021 by Exploring Black Newspapers

This is the third in a series of posts highlighting digital collections that celebrate Black history.

As filmmaker Stanley Nelson noted, “from the publication of the first African-American newspaper in 1827, the pioneering men and women of the black press have given voice to stories and events that otherwise would have gone undocumented” (The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords). Find these stories—from Freedom’s Journal to the Chicago Defender— in Emory’s newspaper databases.

African American Newspapers from Accessible Archives

Frederick Douglass’s Freedom’s Journal from 1827-1829 is one of eleven 19th-century black Black newspapers digitally available via Accessible Archives.

African American Newspapers, Series 1 and Series 2 from Readex

Freedom’s Journal also appears alongside later small-town Black newspapers such as the Afro-American Review from Salina Kansas and Afro-Hawai’i News from Waialua, Hawaii in the African American Newspapers database from Readex.

Image, August 23, 1970 Black Newspapers from ProQuest Historical Newspapers

The Baltimore Afro-American, which is one of the nine major newspapers in Proquest’s Black Newspaper Collection, published its first edition in 1892. Other major city papers followed suit including Chicago (1905), New York (1909), and Atlanta (1928). Search the historical backfiles of nine major African American Newspapers.

Ethnic Newswatch from Proquest

Current Black Newspapers (or Black Newspapers from the 1960s onward) can be found in Ethic Newswatch. It has over 115 African American papers.

For additional information on the editors, writers and newspaper titles, try searching Oxford African American Studies Center. It contains biographical and encyclopedic information about African Americans.

If you have questions about Black newspapers at the library and available on the web, contact the Library Services Desk at libraryservicedesk [at] emory [dot] edu or African American Studies librarian Erica Bruchko (berica [at] emory [dot] edu).  

by Erica Bruchko, African American Studies and US history librarian