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100 Years Ago


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Freedom's Journal

Cornish and Russwurm viewed the "Journal" as a medium for facilitating interstate dialogue among blacks about blacks and Africa:

"It is our earnest wish to make our Journal a medium of intercourse between our brethren in the different states of this great confederacy: that through its columns an expression of our sentiments, on many interesting subjects which concern us, may be offered to the publick.... Useful knowledge of every kind, and everything that relates to Africa, shall find a ready admission into our columns; and as that vast continent becomes daily more known, we trust that many things will come to light, proving that the natives of it are neither so ignorant nor stupid as they have generally been supposed to be."

The Journals targeted population of free blacks (because it was against the law in slaveholding states to encourage literacy and thought of any kind among slaves) reveals their intended influence among this critical segment of ante-bellum blacks:

"The interesting fact that there are FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND free persons of colour, one half of whom might peruse, and the whole be benefited by the publication of the Journal; that no publication, as yet, has been devoted exclusively to their improvement-that many selections from approved standard authors, which are within the reach of few, may occasionally be made-and more important still, that this large body of our citizens have no public channel-all serve to prove the real necessity, at present, for the appearance of the FREEDOM'S JOURNAL."

'Black History' segment written in June, 1998 by David Lodge

 

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