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Black History Month

History-makers of Southeast Louisiana

The New Orleans Tribune


The first black-owned daily newspaper in the United States was The New Orleans Tribune, which began in 1864, during the Civil War. The founder was Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez.   
La Tribune de la Nouvelle
Orle’ans, the New Orleans Tribune, was originally published in both French and English. Jean-Charles Houzeau, a Belgian scientist, was the managing editor and principal writer. The paper closed on February 28, 1869. 

During its brief but significant run, The Tribune gained a national reputation from its editorials and because its editors sent free copies of the paper to major Northern newspapers and to every member of Congress, who often quoted the editorials on the floor of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives.

The Tribune was a vocal advocate for the interests of free black people of New Orleans in the final year of the American Civil War and the early years of Reconstruction.  The Tribune promoted the right of African American children to access public education and the right of newly freed farm workers to decent wages and working conditions.

In 1985 Dr. Dwight and Beverly McKenna began publishing a monthly news magazine The New Orleans Tribune focused on the African-American community. The Tribune has earned a reputation for reporting on social, economic, and political issues often ignored by the mainstream press.

The items listed below are available for you at Sims Memorial Library.