The oldest continually publishing African-American newspaper in the United States, The Philadelphia Tribune, has been around since 1884. Christopher J. Perry released the first copy and the paper has been committed to provided its readers with political, social, and economic happenings in throughout the city, state, and country.
Christopher J. Perry was born on September 11, 1854, in Baltimore, Maryland to free African-American parents. He attended school in Baltimore and got the reputation for being a well-spoken individual through public speeches he would give throughout the region. After he graduated from high school in 1873, the ambitious Perry migrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, due to the lack of opportunities for African Americans in Baltimore.
He found work writing for local newspapers such as the “Sunday Mercury.” He wrote a column titled, “Flashes and Sparks” for the Mercury, which provided information to the growing Black community in Philadelphia. In 1884, the Sunday Mercury went bankrupt and Perry found himself without a job. Later that year on November 27, Perry began his own newspaper titled the “Philadelphia Tribune.”
He first operated the paper as the owner, editor, copier, and advertiser. Throughout his career with the Tribune, Perry promoted the advancement of American Americans in society and covered issues affecting their daily lives. Perry worked on the Tribune until his death in 1921. Since 1995, the Tribune has been honored with the John B. Russwurm award seven times for “Best Newspaper” in America.