KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Emancipator was the first abolitionist newspaper ever published in the United States. It was created by a Tennessean named Elihu Embree. This week it relaunched in Boston, Massachusetts.
We're reimagining the first abolitionist newspaper in the United States, the Emancipator. And we're doing this to restart and reconfigure the conversation on racial justice and equity," said Amber Payne.
This weekend marks 202 years of the Emancipator. The two women who are part of resurrecting this historical publication say there are still more stories about how White Supremacy continues to impact everyone in America.
Payne and Deborah Douglas, co-editors in chief of the Emancipator, say relaunching the newspaper gives them a chance to dig deeper and tell stories about today's racial injustices.
"And what was so wonderful about the original Emancipator is that it called for an unequivocally the end of black enslavement," said Douglas.
Payne and Douglas believe although slavery ended over 150 years ago, there is still much to learn.
"A dialogue to help people understand how one thing is connected to the other thing that's connected to the other thing, we can help people make better decisions about how they show up in a democracy, how to be better citizens," said Douglas.
Historian Anne Mason has been researching the Emancipator for quite some time. She says the original publication was published monthly for readers in the North and South.
She describes it as prophetic because it was written before the civil war and says Embree knew if slavery did not end soon, many lives would be lost.
"And he was pretty much like, Listen, if we don't solve this issue now, there's going to be a war, and it's going to be devastating," said Mason.
It has been over 150 years since slavery ended. Payne and Douglas believe America has come a long way, but there is still much to learn.
"The Emancipator just launched with a series on the black wealth gap and how we can solve it. But in that series, we address the fact that that wealth gap has had a significant impact on the country's financial health," said Payne.