The Revival of Frederick Douglass’ The North Star

In 1847, 172 years ago, Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany started The North Star as the leading abolitionist newspaper of the day. They spoke truth to power and unashamedly used journalism as a tool to fight for freedom.

Now, with the blessing and permission of the family of Frederick Douglass, activist and journalist Shaun King and his associate Ben Dixon are reviving The North Star. The new North Star will be published online and will generate podcasts, rather than produce a printed version.

The founders are not accepting venture capital funding or commercial support. The effort will be funded by the public. Basic memberships are $5 per month for students and $10 per month for the general public. The North Star had set a goal to have 25,000 members by the end of 2018 and 100,000 members by the end of 2019. But to date, there are less than 20,000 members.

Keisha Blain has been named editor in chief of The North Star. Dr. Blain currently teaches history at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

Dr. Blain holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Africana studies from Binghamton University in New York and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University in New Jersey.

A video about the project can be viewed below.


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  1. As a former managing editor of the old Jet magazine, this venture excites me. I would be pleased to do what an old retiree can to help this venture described by Shaun King get up and running.

  2. OMG!! This is a great discovery for me at the beginning of 2020 with 20/20 clear vision. My father was the editor of one of the 1st black newspaper daily newspapers west of the Mississippi as I recall, and when we moved to Tennessee he had another newspaper. He was out there working for economic development of the black man or I guess at that time we were Negroes? I’m not sure what we were … anyway I know who I AM! I AM Mr. Edd Scott’s daughter! And the co-editor of our Scott-Brashears Family Newsletter and I want to take it to a different level this year. So it is very inspirational to find The North Star at this time. Incidentally, great name, The North Star… just resonates! Would you please kindly consider uploading the video about your project because there are millions of grant dollars for free speech that you can ask for. Soooo much currency floating around this universe… God bless!!

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