This is the first issue of The Herald newspaper which was established and edited by David Hamilton Jackson after he returned from Denmark in 1915. Addressed to the Black masses, its editorials and articles forthrightly addressed the shortcomings of Danish colonial rule and the White power elite, while advocating the cause and promoting the upliftment of the common people. Among other things, it facilitated the establishment of the first labor union, championed worker rights and elevated racial consciousness. The Herald was published until 1925. (The link provided is to the very first issue, it contains among other topics information about those that Jackson credited and thanked for their help, including Crucians living in New York.)
Primary Sources in this Activity
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Before using this activity, lead the class in a discussion about primary sources. Discuss newspapers, and ask students to list strengths and weaknesses of using newspapers as primary sources. Discuss what an editorial is and what its purpose is in a newspaper.
Load the newspaper onto an interactive smart board and have students make observations together. If there is not a smart board, students can work in small groups at computers. There are a few pages in the newspaper.
Analyze the Primary Source
You may load the Analyze a Written Document worksheet on the smart board or on computers so that you can lead students through answering the questions, print the worksheet and distribute to your students, or adapt the questions from the worksheet to create your own. Primary Source Analysis Worksheets
Have students complete the analyze a written document worksheet individually, in small groups, or as a class. Help students as needed to complete the worksheets. Review their answers and the observations as a class.
Ask students if they know who was David Hamilton Jackson? Why and how did he manage to establish a new newspaper? How do newspapers, or the media, affect the way we think and behave?
Define Op Ed as needed, and then read the Op Ed to the class or have them read it independently or with a partner.
Reading the Op Ed, what freedoms does the author discuss? (Cite from the article) Why do you think the editor of the paper chose “Liberty, Equality & Fraternity” as the slogan of the paper? Look up “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. What other revolutions use that phrase? Do you think he was worried about consequences for speaking out against his government? Why do you think the author decided to speak out so publicly?
Perspective: David Hamilton Jackson wrote for the working people, the laborers. How might those people have felt when Jackson pushed for changes that would benefit them? How might they have felt reading his editorials? How does a leader influence the community? How do they influence change? Explain answers.
Think Critically: Why does the author think Freedom of the Press is important? (Cite article description or editorial) What do you think it was like for the author, living under Danish rule? What were conditions of life in the Danish West Indies in 1915? Have a discussion regarding the criticisms of the Danish government in 1915 that are in the newspaper (find examples in the OpEd).
What could researchers learn from the Herald newspapers?
Discuss the importance of the Freedom of the Press today, struggles globally, and how it is constitutionally guaranteed in America.
Make Connections: Using what you learned and evidence from the newspaper, write your own Editorial defending Freedom of the Press.