The Afro-American chain of newspapers (1892 - present) began with the founding of the Baltimore Afro-American, the flagship newspaper of the chain, in 1892 by John H. Murphy, Sr. It is the longest-running African-American family-owned newspaper in the United States. The newspaper’s founder, John H. Murphy Sr., was born into slavery and served in the Civil War in the United States Colored Troops, attaining the rank of sergeant. Murphy was active with the Bethem African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, and eventually merged his church publication, The Sunday School Helper with two other church publications, The Ledger and The Afro-American. With his newspaper, Murphy fought against racial discrimination in Baltimore and promoted children’s education and unity in the black community. In 1922, Carl J. Murphy took over the newspaper, and was its editor for 45 years. He expanded the newspaper’s circulation to include editions in 13 major cities, including Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; and Newark, New Jersey. Currently, the Afro-American has two editions: one is Baltimore and the other in Washington, D.C.

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