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Reconnecting with the Roots of the Black Press with Brandon Nightingale

We are just five years from the bicentennial anniversary of the Black press.

Freedom’s Journal was founded March 16, 1827 in Lower Manhattan, New York by John Brown Russwurm, the first African American graduate of Bowdoin College, and the third Black person to graduate from the halls of an American college or university.

Our guest this week refers to the Journal as a mouthpiece of the Black movement, an artifact of Black history that not only represents the place of the movement that has been in motion for hundreds of years in this country, but a marker of just how far that movement has come in the many years since.

Brandon Nightingale is a historian and the Black Press Archives digitization project manager at the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. Brandon’s project: to research and document the history of the Black press.

The Black Press Archive was started at Howard in 1973, donated by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Now, fifty years on, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation has gifted the Archive $2 million to digitize the historic collection. Brandon kicks off season 7 of Mission Forward with a conversation on the importance of protecting the voices of the Black press and sharing them with the world. Our great thanks to Brandon for sharing his experience and enthusiasm with us this week.

  • (00:00) – 200 Years of the Black Press
  • (01:51) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (03:29) – Introducing Brandon Nightengale
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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