The first African American newspaper, Freedom's Journal, has a historical, rhetorical, and spatial purpose. It not only showed the impact made by African Americans in the fight for their civil rights in the early 19th century, but as an artifact it illustrated and preserved that history allowing it to be studied centuries after the newspaper ceased printing. The purpose of The Resonance and Residue of the First African American Newspaper: How Freedom's Journal Created Space in the Early 19th Century is to provide an interdisciplinary approach to historical newspapers that illustrates an alternative history in this country — a history of and by African Americans. By combining both print and digital research methods, new historical, rhetorical, and spatial information can be discovered that illustrates how the first African American newspaper fought against the influences of white society in the early 19th century and created a space for the black community that became meaningful enough to transform America into a place in which African Americans identified as Americans. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to combine traditional research and close reading with digital analysis (machine reading) by using different digital tools to illustrate how Freedom's Journal used text to combat the influences/powers that were shaping the early 19th century, and create a new and different type of historical narrative about how one oppressed community was successfully able to fight another dominant community through the use of text.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Kasper, Valerie, "The Resonance and Residue of the First African American Newspaper: How Freedom's Journal Created Space in the Early 19th Century" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5798.