Did you know that NYLS’s 57 Worth Street building encompasses the site (236 Church Street) that was once home to Freedom’s Journal, the first newspaper published in the United States by and for black Americans? Founded in 1827 to provide a voice against racism and intolerance, it denounced slavery and lynchings and advocated for black suffrage. The surrounding neighborhood was once home to a large number of free northern blacks who, at that time, constituted a small minority in the city. Just steps away from 236 Church Street a plaque commemorates the site of the Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which occupied the space from 1800-1864. The church was the first church built for and by black Americans, and had strong ties to Freedom’s Journal.
To learn more about Freedom’s Journal, seek out a copy of the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of New York Law School Magazine, which contains a more in-depth article regarding NYLS’s connection to the newspaper. You can also access a copy of the article here.