The Emancipator, America’s First Abolitionist Journal, Returns Online

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Any publication dedicated to putting the historical issue of slavery into context will always be respected in our eyes, and much of that is attributed to the first abolitionist journal in America, The emancipator.

After a short but strong run from 1819 to 1820, The emancipator now returns after more than 200 years since its initial launch with an official online revival in 2022.

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Although the newspaper originated in Tennessee, the revival will be led on the East Coast through new collaborative partners, the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and the Opinion team at The Boston Globe. They work alongside co-editors Deborah Douglas and Amber Payne to give The emancipator an appropriate stimulus later in the year.

More on this historic revamp below, via HuffPost:

“The Original Emancipator was founded in 1820 at Jonesborough, Tennessee, by the ironmaker Elihu Embree, for the stated purpose of ‘advocating the abolition of slavery and being a repository of tracts on this interesting and important,” according to a digital collection from the University of Tennessee Library’s monthly newsletter.

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

Douglas and Payne say drawing on the newspaper’s legacy is appropriate now because it was probably hard for Americans to imagine a country without slavery back then, just as many people today probably can’t imagine. a nation without racism. The new Emancipator was announced last March, nearly a year after the May 2020 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police sparked social justice movements around the world.

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The hotly debated topic of critical race theory helped launch the initiative to relaunch The emancipator, with Payne telling the outlet, “Our country is so polarized that partisanship trumps science and trumps historical records,” also adding, “These ongoing crusades against affirmative action, against critical race theory are not going away. This drumbeat continues and therefore our drumbeat must continue.

You can help by donating to The emancipatorwhich will be launched without paywall, in click here.

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