This guest post by 2020 Junior Fellow Sophia Southard provides a history of African American newspapers with examples from our rich collections. Read more about how these black-owned businesses have provided voices for their communities from 1827 until today.
There are some cases that capture the public's imagination and cause a media frenzy. There's the political trials, which cover treason, spying, dissidents, and radicals. Celebrity trials that involve high-profile people, whether victims or defendants. And the "whodunit" trials that are surrounded in mystery. Whatever the case, 19th century America has its share of legendary trials that captivate the public interest and newspapers deliver all the sensational details.
On July 5, 1852, eminent African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered a brilliant speech that was a powerful indictment of American slavery and racism. Read the speech as printed within days in his own newspaper.
This year’s celebration of Pride Month wrapped up this week and we wanted to highlight an important figure in the history of blues music whose story has often been overlooked. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey was hailed as the “Mother of the Blues” and was a bisexual Black singer who has and continues to inspire generations of musicians. …