A Statewide Program

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1857 to 2018

Sept - Nov 2022

Providence

Pawtucket

Newport

Exhibit

Lecture

Special Issue

Black Newspaper

The Black Press in Rhode Island is a remarkable, yet virtually unknown history. In 1857 we find Alexander P. Niger, an accomplished typesetter, in the Providence print shop of A. C. Greene. In 1860, the first African American newspaper, Rev. George W. Hamblin's L'Overture, begins publication. In 1906, John Carter Minkins becomes the nation's first Black editor of an all-white newspaper, the News-Democrat, starting what will become a seventy-year career in Rhode Island media. In 1950, the Providence Journal hires its first Black reporter, James N. Rhea, who remains for thirty-three challenging years, writing on the plight of African Americans locally and nationally, and winning a Pulitzer for doing so. 1968 through 2018 is the longest stretch of Black publications in the state, with six different newspapers coming and going, and for the most part creating a continuous pipeline of information for and about the Black community. All of this is explored in Stages of Freedom's exciting exhibit, "Black Ink on White Paper: The Black Press in Rhode Island" which will tour Rhode Island in the autumn of 2022. 

Funded by The Herman H. Rose Media Access Fund &

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Exhibit & Talk on John C. Minkins: Wednesday, September 21 - Rhode Island Historical Society
Special Exhibit Viewing: Thursday, October 13 - Providence Athenaeum
Exhibit: (Date to be Announced) - Redwood Library & Athenaeum

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Rev. W. S. Holland

The Providence Watchman

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John Carter Minkins

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Providence News Democrat

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James N. Rhea

Providence Journal

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Charlotta Bass

Providence Watchman/California Eagle

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Doug Terry

Ocean State Grapevine

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Olivia Ward Bush

The Colored American