Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez and Dr. Dwight and Beverly McKenna
The New Orleans Tribune is proud to have it’s publishers Dr. Dwight and Beverly S. McKenna honored as part of New Orleans & Company Black History Month celebration. And the McKennas are honored to continue their work in the spirit of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, physician, civil rights activists and publisher of the historical New Orleans Tribune, the nation’s first Black daily newspaper.
Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez was a man before his time. He was a physician, a journalist and a civil rights activist who fought against racial injustice and for the rights of Black people both free and enslaved. In 1862, Dr. Roudanez, founded L’Union, the first Black newspaper in the South. In 1864, he launched La Tribune de la Nouvelle Orléans (the New Orleans Tribune), the first Black daily newspaper in the United States. In the pages of the historic New Orleans Tribune, Dr. Roudanez courageously attacked racism and called for the nation to recognize all men as citizens. Using both the power of the pen and action, he was a leader of one of the most important civil rights campaigns in American history.
Unsatisfied with the way that mainstream media covered New Orleans’ African-American community, Dr. Dwight and Beverly S. McKenna established their own newspaper in 1985. And it was in the spirit and in honor of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez and his early fight for civil rights efforts that they named their publication The New Orleans Tribune. The modern-day New Orleans Tribune has strived to uphold the example set by Roudanez by serving as a clear, unfettered voice for truth and fairness.
Serving and empowering their community is at the center of the McKennas’ life work. A physician and general surgeon who has practiced in New Orleans for more than 50 years, Dr. McKenna is the Orleans Parish coroner. Beverly McKenna, who as a young girl, dreamed of one day becoming a journalist, continues to be the guiding force behind The Tribune’s fervent editorial content designed to uplift and empower the community. They have also founded McKenna Museums to celebrate, highlight, preserve and share Black history and art.