John B. Russwurm was an abolitionist and co-founder of the first newspaper published by African-Americans, Freedom"s Journal.
Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica in 1799 to a slave and English merchant, Russwurm was sent to live in Quebec at the age of eight. Five years later, Russwurm"s father moved him to Portland, Maine.
Russwurm attended the Hebron Academy and taught at an all black school in Boston. In 1824, he enrolled in Bowdoin College. Following his graduation in 1826, Russwurm became Bowdoin"s first African-American graduate and the third African-American to graduate from an American college.
After moving to New York City in 1827, Russwurm met Samuel Cornish. The pair publishedFreedom"s Journal, a news publication whose aim was to fight against enslavement. However, once Russwurm was appointed senior editor of the journal, he changed the paper"s position on colonization--from negative to advocate of colonization. As a result, Cornish left the newspaper and within two years, Russwurm had moved to Liberia.
From 1830 to 1834, Russwurm worked as the colonial secretary for the American Colonization Society. In addition he edited the Liberia Herald. After resigning from the news publication, Russwurm was appointed superintendent of education in Monrovia.
In 1836, Russwurm became the first African-American governor of Maryland in Liberia. He used his position to persuade African-Americans to move to Africa.
Russwurm married Sarah McGill in 1833. The couple had three sons and one daughter. Russwurm died in 1851 in Cape Palmas, Liberia.
W.E.B. Du Bois is often known for his work with the Harlem Renaissance and The Crisis. However, it is less known that DuBois is actually responsible for coining the term, "Pan-Africanism."
Du Bois was not only interested in ending racism in the United States. He was also concerned with people of African descent throughout the world. Leading the Pan-African movement, Du Bois organized conferences for the Pan-African Congress for many years. Leaders from Africa