Every year for Black History Month I explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than be stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts
I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.
For my tenth entry this month:
1827: First African-American owned-and-operated newspaper: Freedom’s Journal
Freedom’s Journal was the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. Founded by Rev. Peter Williams, Jr. and other free black men in New York City, it was published weekly starting with the 14 September 1827 issue. Freedom’s Journal was superseded in 1829 by The Rights of All, published between 1829 and 1830 by Samuel Cornish, the former senior editor of the Journal.
Peter Williams, Jr. (1786–1840) was an African-American Episcopal priest, the second ordained in the United States, and abolitionist in New York City. He supported free black emigration to Haiti, the black republic that achieved independence in 1804. Later in life he strongly opposed the American Colonization Society‘s efforts to relocate free blacks to a colony in Africa.
In 1808 he organized St. Philip’s African Church, the second black Episcopal church in the United States. In 1827 he was a co-founder of Freedom’s Journal,the first African-American owned and operated newspaper in the United States. In 1833 he founded the Phoenix Society, a mutual aid society for African Americans; that year he was also elected to the executive board of the interracial American Anti-Slavery Society.