ERIC Number: ED331050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Free Women and the Antebellum Black Press: Gender Oppression Reconsidered.
Black newspapers and journals published between 1827 and 1860, such as "Freedom's Journal,""The Weekly Advocate," and the "Mirror of Liberty," worked to dispel negative images and to set the record straight about women of color, in contrast to the unfounded hyperboles against these women which had been pervasive during the pre-Civil War years. The messages common to the black press and women were concerned primarily with the vindication and uplift of people of color. The relationship between the black press and black women was not oppressive but symbiotic, as the black press brought benefits to black women, and the women, in turn, brought financial and editorial support to the black press. Led by such men as Samuel Cornish, John Brown Russwurm, Frederick Douglas, David Ruggles, and Thomas Hamilton, the antebellum press was a forum for the social thought of women of color, daring to publish a variety of their literary, sociopolitical, moral and controversial commentary. Furthermore, the content of black newspapers and magazines depicted black women individually and collectively as concerned, expansive, socially aware and responsible, bearing witness to the fact that no other group of antebellum women worked with such spirit and persistence, in the face of so much despair and racism, to overcome so much--including unsavory images, oppression, slavery, and exploitation. This broader and more positive view of the black press regarding women should be taught in journalism history classes. (Forty-two footnotes are included.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Black Newspapers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (Minneapolis, MN, August 1-4, 1990).