• By The Financial District

1st U.S. Abolition Newspaper 'The Emancipator' Revived After 200 Years

America’s first newspaper dedicated to advocating the end of slavery is being resurrected and reimagined more than two centuries later as the nation continues to grapple with its legacy of racism, Philip Marcelo reported for the Associated Press (AP).


Photo Insert: A 1932 facsimile of the first issue of the Emancipator, published on April 30, 1820



The revived version of The Emancipator is a joint effort by Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and The Boston Globe Opinion team that’s expected to launch in the coming months.


Deborah Douglas and Amber Payne, co-editors-in-chief of the new online publication, say it will feature written and video opinion pieces, multimedia series, virtual talks, and other content by respected scholars and seasoned journalists. The goal, they say, is to “reframe” the national conversation around racial injustice.



“I like to say it’s anti-racism, every day, on purpose,” said Douglas, who joined the project after working as a journalism professor at DePauw University in Indiana. “We are targeting anyone who wants to be a part of the solution to creating an anti-racist society because we think that leads us to our true north, which is democracy.”


The original Emancipator was founded in 1820 in Jonesborough, Tennessee, by iron manufacturer Elihu Embree, with the stated purpose to “advocate the abolition of slavery and to be a repository of tracts on that interesting and important subject,” according to a digital collection of the monthly newsletter at the University of Tennessee library.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Before Embree’s untimely death from a fever ended its brief run later that year, The Emancipator reached a circulation of more than 2,000, with copies distributed throughout the South and in northern cities like Boston and Philadelphia that were centers of the abolition movement.



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