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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 journal's founders were Louis Burnham, Edward Strong, W.E.B. Du Bois and its first general editor Shirley Graham Du Bois. It was later edited by Esther Cooper Jackson.

Jackson would call "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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