Teaching the history of America’s Black press

From the abolition of slavery to the push against civil rights-era segregation, a Hussman School of Journalism and Media course explores the voice Black press gave to African Americans, whose stories were often excluded from mainstream media.

Close-up of cover of Freedom's Journal newspaper from March 30, 1827

1827 — Freedom’s Journal, America’s first Black-owned and operated newspaper, began publication.

1852 — The African Methodist Episcopal Church established The Christian Recorder, the oldest continuously published Black newspaper in the United States.

1952 — Simeon Booker Jr. became the first Black reporter for The Washington Post, famously penning midcentury pieces on the nation’s civil rights movement.

Trevy McDonald — UNC Hussman’s Scheer Term Associate Professor — reels off these dates rapid-fire, from memory, as she details the timeline of a UNC Hussman course shining light on a critical aspect of Black history: the Black press.

McDonald, who also serves as and the school’s director of ABIDE (Access, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity), teaches “MEJO 342: The Black Press and United States History,” which examines the foundations of Black media from the 19th century through the civil rights movement.

Read more about the class and America’s Black press.