Beyond Black History: Before The Charlotte Post, there was The Charlotte Messenger

This story is part of our new series, Beyond Black History. Got a story about Charlotte’s Black history? Email

March is a landmark month in the history of Black media.

On March 16, 1827, the nation’s first Black-owned newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, was published in New York City. But what about Charlotte? When did the Queen City get its first Black-owned news publication? 

After hours of research and calls to archives throughout North Carolina, I discovered that, long before The Charlotte Post, there was The Charlotte Messenger.

The earliest-known publishing date for The Charlotte Messenger is June 17, 1882, according to an article from The People’s Graphic Design Archive

The Charlotte Messenger was founded and edited by William “W.C.” Smith, who in 1874 also established the Fayetteville Educator, which was published for one year.

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