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The Power of Print | Freedom Journal Flashback

Written by : Chywrites

Remembering the Freedom Journal, before history experienced change in African American rights, African Americans were only taught to be active followers instead of leaders. A series of events in history expresses the progress within the African American Culture, which highlights the most historical events that craft black history.


A case study covering Black and White Print, Cross Racial Strategies of Class Solidarity, and the Freedom Journal Identifies why print history was the biggest movement during 1827. The print movement with the Freedom Journal embraced african American Culture to utilize freedom of speech to their advantage and how those movements created cross-racial strategies of class protest.


The Freedom Journal was established in 1827, founded by John Russwurn and Samuel Cornish. The journal was designed as an outlet for African Americans to voice the views and opinions of the black community. The overall intent of the Freedom Journal was not to defend African American against the racial differences but to create a way to advocate issues under equality.



Image | Google

As the Freedom Journal developed and built its foundation within the black community, the message behind the Journal became much greater, it then became a source of power to the black community, giving them hope to “plead our case” in the existence of the white community.

Pleading Our Case” became a movement developed through the Freedom Journal. It demanded equality in order to restore what had been stripped from the black community throughout history–it was the gateway to express African American views as well as exist in a community/world as an equal and not as animals. As the journal gained greater exposure, it began to define its distinctive voice by discussing the following subjects:


  • Nativism – a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants: the revival or perpetuation of an indigenous culture especially in opposition to acculturation.
  • Sensationalism – the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the exposure of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement.
  • Social Classes – is a group of people of similar status, commonly sharing comparable levels of power and wealth.
  • Racism – Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.


The points above created cross-racial strategies of class solidarity due to the fact the Freedom Journal discussed issues, which were avoided in other local newspapers.


“Black Newspapers differed from penny papers most visibly in content as they agitated explicitly for the end of chattel slavery, rigorously protested racial prejudice in all facets of daily life, and provided advice and encouragement for the racial uplift of their widely scattered brethren–identifying the middle-class values implicit in black newspapers’ pragmatic message of racial uplift.” (120 American Perodicals)


As the Freedom Journal gained its identity in the black community, the freedom to voice equality became more purposeful than expect.