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Sat, 04.15.1961

The Freedomways Journal is Published

*This date in 1961 celebrates the first issue of Freedomways

This was the leading Black theoretical, political and cultural journal of the 1960s–1980s. It began publishing in the spring of 1961, and the journal's founders were Louis Burnham, Edward Strong, W.E.B. Du Bois, and its first general editor Shirley Graham Du Bois.  Esther Cooper Jackson later edited it.

Jackson would call it "a tool for the liberation of our people." Freedomways was a globally influential political, arts, and intellectual journal that published international poets such as Pablo Neruda and Derek Walcott, articles by African leaders including Kwame Nkrumah, Julius K. Nyerere, Agostinho Neto, and Jomo Kenyatta, and Caribbean leftists like C. L. R. James, as well as African American authors such as James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Paul Robeson, Nikki Giovanni, and Lorraine Hansberry.

The most prominent Black artists, like Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and Elizabeth Catlett, contributed cover art gratis to support the magazine, which was read worldwide. Uniting the Southern and Northern American Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s with an international viewpoint taking in Pan-Africanism and other cultural and political currents, the magazine is often viewed as a precursor of the Black Arts Movement. It ceased in 1985. 

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