Newspaper editor and former slave T. Thomas Fortune formed the N

Press release from The T. Thomas Fortune Project

On Saturday, June 14, the nonprofit T. Thomas Fortune Project will present a symposium at Brookdale Community College entitled “Shining a Light on Today: The Legacy of T. Thomas Fortune.”

Described as “A Window into the World of Post-Reconstruction,” the symposium will be hosted in the Twin Lights Room of the Warner Student Center at BCC, from 9 am to 1 pm. The day will begin with a continental breakfast, immediately following by a panel discussion. The keynote address will be delivered by Walter Greason, History Professor at Monmouth University.

A pioneer African American editor, journalist and author in the 19th and early 20th centuries, T. Thomas Fortune made his home in Red Bank over 100 years ago. The publisher and founder of three New York newspapers — including the New York Age, the foremost African-American publication of its time — Fortune was a staunch defender of human and civil rights for both African Americans and other marginalized people. He strongly criticized the demise of Reconstruction, lynching and other atrocities that befell “Afro-Americans,” and prior to his death in Philadelphia on June 2, 1928, the National Negro Press Association bestowed upon him the honorary title of “Dean of Negro Journalism.”

Fortune’s former home at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard is currently the subject of a fundraising campaign to save, preserve and restore the historic structure for purposing as a cultural research center.

The June 14 symposium is free of charge, but registration is required. Please register online here by Saturday, June 7th.