African-American newspapers are newspapers in the United States that cater to primarily African-American audiences. Samuel Cornish and John Brown Russwurm started the first African-American periodical called Freedoms Journal in 1827. During the antebellum South, other African-American newspapers sprang forth, such as The North Star founded by Frederick Douglass. As African Americans moved to urban centers around the country, virtually every large city with a significant African-American population soon had newspapers directed towards African Americans. Today, these newspapers have gained audiences outside African-American circles. However, in the 21st century these papers (like newspapers of all sorts) have shut down, merged, or shrunk in response to the dominance of the Internet in terms of providing free news and information, and providing cheap advertising. Irvine Garland Penns book, The Afro-American Press and Its Editors along with Armistead S. Prides, A Register and History of Negro Newspapers in the United States: 1827-1950 and Warren Browns Check List of Negro Newspapers in the United States (1827-1946) are essential starting points for understanding the early history of African American newspapers.
Most of the earliest African-American publications, such as Freedoms Journal, were published in the North and then distributed, often covertly, to African Americans throughout the country. Blacks ability to establish many environments and black neighborhoods in the North led to the first wave of publications. By the 20th century, daily papers appeared in Norfolk, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C..
Some notable black newspapers of the 19th century were Freedoms Journal (1827-29), Philip Alexander Bells Colored American (1837–41), the North Star (1847-1860), the National Era, The Frederick Douglass Paper (1851–63), the Douglass Monthly (1859–63), and the Christian Recorder (1861-1902) In the 1860s, the newspapers the Elevator and the Pacific Appeal emerged in California as a