Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez (12 June 1823 – 11 March 1890) was a visionary free man of color, doctor, and journalist. Greatly influenced by revolutions in Saint Domingue and France, and angered by slavery and racial injustice, he took up the cause of equality during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. In 1862, Dr. Roudanez, Paul Trévigne, and Jean Baptiste Roudanez founded L’Union, the South’s first Black newspaper. In 1864, Dr. Roudanez launched La Tribune de la Nouvelle Orléans (the New Orleans Tribune), the first Black daily newspaper in the United States. With his Tribune colleagues and a dynamic community of free and freed persons of African descent, Roudanez courageously attacked racism in the face of some of the nation’s worst violence. He was the guiding force behind one of the most radical and influential journals of its time. The Tribune’s crusade led to Black enfranchisement, the creation of a groundbreaking State constitution with strong equal rights provisions, and the election of many Black representatives. The vision of Dr. Roudanez, articulated in print and manifested in social protest, forged one of the most important civil rights campaigns in American history.
Explore the history of the New Orleans Tribune: Read the in-depth history of the New Orleans Tribune, take a virtual tour of historic sites related to the Tribune, find articles about the importance of the paper, read extracts from the Tribune, and explore a timeline of significant events in the Tribune’s past. Looking for more? Check out our videos and photo gallery.
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