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Any publication dedicated to putting the historical issue of slavery into context will always get respect in our eyes, and much of that is credited to the first abolitionist newspaper in America, The Emancipator.

After a short-yet-strong run from 1819 to 1820, The Emancipator is now returning after over 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 spearheaded on the East Coast by way of new collaborative partners, Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and the Opinion team over at The Boston Globe. They are working alongside co-editors Deborah Douglas and Amber Payne to give The Emancipator a proper relaunch later in the year.

More on this historic revamp below, via Huff Post:

“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.

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.

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

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The much-debated topic of Critical Race Theory helped kick off the initiative to revive The Emancipator, with Payne telling the outlet, “Our country is so polarized that partisanship is trumping science and trumping historical records,” also adding, “These ongoing crusades against affirmative action, against critical race theory are not going away. That drumbeat is continuing and so therefore our drumbeat needs to continue.”

You can help by donating to The Emancipator, which will launch without a paywall, by clicking here.

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