Johnson H. Johnson
Picture yourself in the grocery store, while waiting for the cashier to ring your groceries up, you grab a popular magazine such as Ebony or Jet magazine. When reading the interesting articles and dazing at the features of Black models and products, you wouldn’t begin to think of how it all started. However that can be the case of many products, publications and services we come in contact with everyday. If it had not been for great leaders such as John H. Johnson we would not have the many magazines, services, inventions and innovations that we have available to us today. Regarded as the most influential African American publisher in American history, John H. Johnson, took his future into his own hands when he decided to create African American publications such as the well known Ebony and Jet Magazine. Johnson set the mark by bringing positive portrayals of blacks into a mass-market publication as well as convincing white corporations to use black models in advertising aimed at black consumers. Johnson was born and raised in Arkansas City, here there were no existing high schools for black students. Therefore in order to continue his education, he repeated the eighth grade. After moving to Chicago with his family shortly thereafter, Johnson attended DuSable High School, where he graduated with honors. Johnson then went to work for the Supreme Life Insurance Company while attending the University of Chicago. At the insurance company he was given the job of compiling weekly news clippings, which eventually gave him the insight for his first publication, Negro Digest. In 1942, after graduating from the University of Chicago, he acted on this idea, and with a $500 loan against his mother's furniture and $6,000 raised through charter subscriptions, Johnson launched Negro Digest, which later became Black World. Three years later, he launched Ebony, which has remained the number-one African American magazine in the world every year since its...
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