Side A: Daniel Arthur Rudd was born into slavery on August 7, 1854, in Bardstown, Kentucky. He became a newspaperman, lecturer, publicist, and tireless advocate for the Roman Catholic Church. After the Civil War Rudd moved to Springfield. Baptized and raised in Catholicism, he joined St. Raphael Parish, where the philosophy of racial equality offered by the church solidified his vision of justice. By 1885 he had established his own weekly newspaper, The Ohio State Tribune. He rebranded it The American Catholic Tribune (ACT) after moving to Cincinnati. Rudd claimed ACT was the only Catholic newspaper owned by an African American. At the height of its popularity in 1892, the publication had a circulation of 10,000. In 1893 Rudd was asked to chair the Afro-American Press Association, representing more than 200 black-owned newspapers.
Side B: In 1888 Daniel Rudd called on Black Catholics to form a national group that would advocate collectively for racial issues. Upon securing the endorsement of Cincinnati’s Archbishop William Elder and Cardinal James Gibbons, the Congress of Colored Catholics convened in Washington, D.C. More than 200 delegates gathered, worshiped, and met with political leaders, including President Grover Cleveland. Today this organization lives on as the National Black Catholic Congress. Rudd died in December 1933. Throughout his life, he fought segregation and inequality in schools, hospitals, and other public accommodations. Battling racism in Cincinnati in 1890, Rudd wrote, “This country is not properly civilized and will not be until men learn to treat each other on their merits and not the color of their skin, their eyes, or their hair.”