Free Online Access to "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords"

Through the month of October, California Newsreel is providing Web access at no charge to “The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords” – the first film to chronicle the history of African American newspapers. This award-winning documentary tells the little-known stories of the African American journalists and editors who for nearly 200 years “risked life and livelihood so African Americans could represent themselves in their own words and images.” Click here for free access to "The Black Press" during October. Among the topics discussed in the film’s first section, Too Long Have Others Spoken For Us, are the founding in 1827 of the first African American newspaper, Freedom's Journal; Frederick Douglass’s influential antislavery paper, The North Star; the beginnings of crusading journalism as exemplified by the work of Ida B. Wells, a pioneer in the struggle to end lynchings; and much more. Many of the 19th-century newspapers discussed in “The Black Press” can be searched and browsed online through African American Newspapers, 1827-1998. For more information about this Readex database, or to request a free trial, please use this form, call 800.762.8182 or email

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