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Inside Capital B

Building on the Legacy of the Black Press

The Black press helped make America a better place to live.

(Stock image)

We began in 2022 with a commitment to equip Black communities with trustworthy, meaningful journalism. We’re relatively new, but the idea behind Capital B is not. Our roots go deep.

Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper in the country, began publishing in New York City in 1827. The paper, born in response to the racist reporting of white-led, mainstream newspapers in the city, advocated for Black people’s rights, informed them about political movements shaping their daily lives, and, in turn, helped galvanize the movement to abolish slavery.

In its inaugural issue, editors Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm wrote of their mission: “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us…” 

With Freedom’s Journal, Cornish and Russwurm sparked the tradition of Black, local press in America, in which Black journalists reported for Black residents who were not being equitably served by the white media. Freedom’s Journal, and the hundreds of Black publications born in its wake, used their reporting to get Black people life-saving information, and to effect meaningful change in a country resistant to it.

The Black press helped make America a better place to live.

Nearly 200 years later, this tradition is still alive across the country, and it’s the tradition we’re building on here at Capital B. Did you catch Capital B Atlanta’s story on the free grocery store trying to address the city’s food access challenges? Or how about our “#ATLBudget” collaboration, which is giving Black Atlantans the information they need to participate in the city’s budget-setting process?

We believe that journalism like ours helps to make our democracy stronger by bringing Black people information they need to make decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Without you, stories like these would go untold. We’re in the home stretch of our spring membership campaign, and our goal is to raise $10,000. But we need your help to get there.

As a nonprofit newsroom that’s driven by impact rather than profit, we depend on the support of readers like you to keep us going. What story will you make possible in 2023? Will you make a donation today?

By contributing, you’re ensuring that the Black press can continue to thrive.