Like virtually every other aspect of American culture, the ongoing struggle of the African-American can be intimately witnessed by studying american periodicals. Over the years, I have had a particularly acute focus in this area and have acquired some amazingly rare (a term I do not use lightly) and historically significant magazines which accurately reflect the evolution of the African Americans place in American society.
The story begins with the publication of "Ode to George Washington" written by an African Anerican former slave, Phillis Wheatley, in the April 1776 issue of Thomas Paine's Pennsylvania Magazine. This is the first published appearance of African American literature in a magazine.
On a more sobering note, a graphic and disturbing image of a slave ship packed with its cargo is seen below. It accompanied a 1787 article published in Matthew Carey's liberal American Museum, one of the two most important and widely circulated magazines of the 1780's, entitled "On the Origins of the Slave Trade". Despite the intended anti-slavery message and shock value, slavery would not be abolished for another 76 years.