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Today’s News

The Changing Role of the Black Press in Louisiana Life

Today’s News


Black-centered journalism has shaped lives and sparked movements in Louisiana, from the nation’s first Black daily to digital media outlets like The Root. On May 18, 2022, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Xavier University of Louisiana hosted this free virtual forum examining the changing role of the Black press in Louisiana and American life. The event will be moderated by Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir, is the Keller Endowed Professor of History and chair of the department of history at Xavier University of Louisiana, with opening remarks by LEH Executive Director Miranda Restovic and Xavier University President Dr. Reynold Verret.

Panelists include:

  • Mark Roudané is a scholar, activist, and great-great-grandson of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, who founded La Tribune / The Tribune, the nation’s first Black daily newspaper, in 1864.
  • Renette Dejoie-Hall is the third-generation publisher and president of the Louisiana Weekly, established in 1925.
  • Ethan Michaeli is a journalist and author of The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America.
  • Jay Connor is a staff writer and senior editor at The Root and co-host and producer of the podcast The Extraordinary Negroes.

This program is the culmination of Split Press: Democracy, Race, and Media in Black and White, a multimedia series exploring the relationship between the media and African American and Afro-Creole experiences of citizenship and civil rights in Louisiana. Part of the Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative, Split Press is a project of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities made possible by a grant from the Federation of State Humanities Councils with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.