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Asheville’s Black Newspapers

From the Colored Enterprise to The Urban News

From the Colored Enterprise to The Urban News

Learn the history of Black owned newspapers, Black journalists, and the important role that media played in advocating for Black people’s rights.


The Southern News Office [4]

For centuries, White-owned newspapers were the only published source of news and opinions in the United States. White journalists often encouraged violence toward free and enslaved Black people, including lynchings. Following emancipation, White newspapers often called for the seizure of Black wealth and property.

America’s first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, published in 1827, reported on Black civic and business life. It also advocated for Black people’s rights. Asheville’s Colored Enterprise, published by Thomas Leatherwood, featured news and opinions by and for Black readers. Black-owned newspapers in Asheville included The Church Advocate, Freedom’s Advocate, The Southern News, The Southland Advocate, and The West Asheville News.

Journalist Johnnie Grant keeps Black journalism’s traditions alive in Asheville. Upon learning that The Asheville Advocate would stop publishing, she decided to launch her own newspaper, The Urban News, in 2005. Ms. Grant is the owner and publisher.