NYLS Site Linked with First African-American Newspaper

Freedom’s Journal, founded in 1827 to provide a voice against racism and intolerance, was the first newspaper published in the United States by and for African-Americans.  A number of sources place its home at 236 Church Street, which is today encompassed by NYLS’ 57 Worth Street building. This neighborhood was home to a large number of free northern blacks who, at that time, constituted a small minority in the city.

Freedom’s Journal denounced slavery and lynchings and advocated for black suffrage. It also published articles on how the U.S. legal and political systems helped to perpetuate slavery.  But the publication itself was not long-lived. Founding editor John Brown Russwurm published the last issue in 1829, shortly before emigrating to Liberia.

Read more about Freedom’s Journal in the Fall/Winter issue of New York Law School Magazine. You can access a copy of the article here.