African American publishers in Georgia have a rich history of delivering news and recording the first-hand history of our state through newspaper journalism. Beginning in the early years of Reconstruction, Black entrepreneurs began establishing papers across the state and exercised their newly won freedoms in the face of harsh resistance. The growth of African American newspapers accelerated in the mid-twentieth century with the burgeoning of the American Civil Rights Movement and the proud tradition of Black newspaper journalism continues in the present day.
Over the last five years, the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) has made a concerted effort to identify and seek funding to digitize African American newspapers published in Georgia between 1865 and the early twenty-first century. Through partnerships with the Atlanta University Center, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS), the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the R. J. Taylor Foundation, and the University of Georgia Libraries, we have made over twenty newspaper titles published by black Georgians available for browsing and searching on the Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN) website.
A list of these titles is available at https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/types/#africanamerican
Highlights from the collection include:
- Savannah Tribune (1886-1888)– The most successful African American newspaper in Georgia in the nineteenth century.
- Daily Loyal Georgian (1867-1868) – Successor to Augusta’s first African American newspaper published in the early years of Reconstruction.
- The Spelman Spotlight 1957-1980 – College newspaper published by the students of Spelman College that covered the events of the American Civil Rights Movement.
The DLG is continuing to work with partners to make African American newspapers freely available to the public through our GHN website. Upcoming titles slated for digitization in the Spring include:
- Augusta News-Review (1971-1985) – A partnership with the Georgia Public Library Service.
- Savannah Tribune (1943-1960) – A partnership with Live Oak Public Libraries and the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC).