Ebony (magazine)

Ebony is a monthly magazine for the African-American market. It was founded by John H. Johnson in Chicago and has published continuously since the autumn of 1945. A digest-sized sister magazine, Jet, was founded by the Johnson Publishing Company in 1951.[3] After 71 years, in June 2016, Johnson sold the publications to private equity firm Clear View Group. The new publisher is known as Ebony Media Corporation.[4][5]

60th anniversary cover with actors Denzel Washington, Halle Berry and Jamie Foxx, November 2005.
Editor-in-chiefTracey Ferguson
Former editorsKierna Mayo
Bryan Monroe
CategoriesLifestyle magazine
Total circulation
FounderJohn H. Johnson
First issueNovember 1, 1945[2]
CompanyEbony Media Operations, LLC
Johnson Publishing Company
CountryUnited States
Based inChicago, Illinois, U.S.


Ebony was founded by John H. Johnson in 1945.[6][7] The magazine has evolved over the years; in 1985 Ebony Man was started.[7] In 2010 it began a redesign process to update its longtime brand. In the past, the magazine was persistently upbeat, much like its postwar contemporary Life. Ebony, edited by John H. Johnson, has striven always to address African-American issues, personalities and interests in a positive and self-affirming manner. Its cover photography has focused on prominent African American public figures, including actors and entertainers, and politicians, such as Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, U.S. First lady Michelle Obama, Beyoncé Knowles, Tyrese Gibson, and Tyler Perry.

For decades, advertisers created ads specifically for Ebony, which featured black models using their products. In the 21st century, many ads in widespread publications already feature black people; Ebony contributes to diversity by also running ads that feature non-black models.

In November 2010, the magazine featured a special 65th-anniversary edition cover featuring Taraji P. Henson, Samuel L. Jackson, Usher and Mary J. Blige. A second cover showcased Nia Long atop a birthday cake – Marilyn Monroe-style. The issue included eight cover recreations from historic and iconic previous covers of Ebony. Blair Underwood posed inside, as did Omar Epps and Jurnee Smollett. Mary J. Blige used her 1940s-style image from Ebony to update her Twitter profile picture.

National Public Radio marked this anniversary edition as the beginning of redesign of Ebony. Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, of the Obama administration, had become the CEO of the magazine.[8] In August 2008 the magazine had published a special eight-cover edition featuring the "25 Coolest Brothers of All Time". The lineup featured Jay-Z, Barack Obama, Prince, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Marvin Gaye, Muhammad Ali and Billy Dee Williams.[9]

In the 21st century, Ebony frequently makes headlines in the blogosphere and in the mainstream press. The November 2011 cover featured a pregnant Nia Long, reminiscent of the iconic image of actress Demi Moore featured naked while pregnant on a magazine cover two decades before. Some of Ebony′s more conservative readers disagreed with the cover choice, stating it inappropriate to feature an unwed, pregnant woman on the cover. The cover was featured in US Weekly and in a five-minute segment on CNN. Recent issues questioned whether President Obama was still right for black America and whether biracial Americans need more acknowledgement in today's society.

In December 2008, Google announced that it was scanning back issues for Google Book Search; all issues from November 1959 to December 2008 are available for free.[10] In 2010, the Johnson Publishing Company sold its historic building to Columbia College Chicago. It moved into a new building in 2011. In 2016, the company sold Ebony and Jet to private equity firm Clear View Group, but will retain its Fashion Fair Cosmetics business and its historic Ebony photo archives, which remains up for sale.[11][12] Ebony each year selects the "100 Most Influential Blacks in America".

See also


  1. ^ http://emo.wpengine.com/Magazines/Mediakit/Ebony/html5/index.html?page=1&noflash
  2. ^ Sharon Shahid (October 29, 2010). "65 Years Ago in News History: The Birth of Ebony Magazine". Newseum.org. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Editors (November 1992). "From Negro Digest to Ebony, Jet and Em – Special Issue: 50 Years of JPC – Redefining the Black Image". Ebony. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  4. ^ Kai EL'Zabar, "Ebony Jet Sold!", Chicago Defender, June 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Sydney Ember and Nicholas Fandos, "Pillars of Black Media, Once Vibrant, Now Fighting for Survival", The New York Times, July 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Marlo Barnett and Joseph E. Flynn, "A Century of Celebration: Disrupting Stereotypes and Portrayals of Afro Americans in the Media" Archived August 18, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, 0Black History Bulletin, Vol. 77, No. 2, p. 30.
  7. ^ a b Satya P. Krishnan et. al. (1997). "Coverage of AIDS in Popular Afro American Magazines" (PDF). Health Communication. 9 (3). Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  8. ^ Cheryl Corley, "'Ebony,' 'Jet' Parent Takes A Bold New Tack", NPR, 22 September 2011
  9. ^ "Ebony: The 25 Coolest Brothers Of All Time". TaleTela. July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  10. ^ Dave Foulser (December 9, 2008). "Search and find magazines on Google Book Search". Google. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  11. ^ Channick, Robert. "Johnson Publishing sells Ebony, Jet magazines to Texas firm". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
  12. ^ "Ebony and Jet magazines have been sold – Northstar News Today". Northstar News Today. 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2017-01-27.

External links

Barbara Ann Reynolds

Barbara Ann Reynolds (born August 17, 1942) is an African-American journalist and author of a notable biography of Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson, the Man, the Myth, and the Movement. She has written for Cleveland Press, Ebony magazine, Chicago Today, and the Chicago Tribune. While at the Tribune she covered Jesse Jackson, with whom she at first had a close friendship. Later her relationship with Jackson took a more journalistic and professional tone, and she published the controversial and sometimes critical biography, which she later revisited as Jesse Jackson, America's David. In 2005, she published an autobiography, Out of Hell and Living Well.

Along with writing about social issues that interest her, Reynolds currently serves as a Pentecostal minister in Washington, D.C..

Bre Scullark

Brittany "Bre" Scullark (born April 26, 1985) is an American fashion model and actress. She placed third on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 5.


Daniel Keith Swain, (b. August 18, 1983) known mononymously as Danny!, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, composer, record producer and voice actor.Swain rose to prominence shortly after his debut performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where he premiered his single "Evil"; he subsequently began a side career in voice acting, narrating the fifteenth season of ESPN's Hey Rookie, Welcome to the NFL. Swain appeared on Sesame Street that same year.

In 2013, Ebony magazine listed Swain among other rising artists in its "Leaders of the New School" piece, calling Swain one of a handful of "innovators". GQ praised Swain's music production as "brilliantly savvy". Swain composed background music that has since been placed in numerous motion pictures and television programs, most notably, FOX's animated series Bob's Burgers for which Swain was awarded an Emmy plaque for his contributions to an episode that won in the Outstanding Animated Program category at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2017.

Era Bell Thompson

Era Bell Thompson (August 10, 1905 – December 30, 1986) was a graduate of the University of North Dakota (UND) and an editor of Ebony magazine. She was also a recipient of the governor of North Dakota's Roughrider Award. A multicultural center at UND is named after her.

Thompson was born on August 10, 1905 in Des Moines, Iowa, the only daughter of Steward “Tony” Thompson and Mary Logan Thompson, the children of former slaves.

Erica Kennedy

Erica Kennedy (March 24, 1970 – c. June 13, 2012) was an American author, blogger, news correspondent, fashion journalist, and singer. Her 2004 novel Bling, became a New York Times bestseller. In 2010, she was named to the list of 100 most influential African Americans, as published by Ebony magazine and known as the "Ebony Power 100".

Forged by Fire (novel)

Forged by Fire is a realistic fiction novel written by Sharon M. Draper in 1997. It's the second book in the Hazelwood High Trilogy. It received the Coretta Scott King Award.The story focuses on Gerald Nickelby, an African American boy who struggles with life after the death of his aunt.

Originally, the first chapter of Forged by Fire appeared as a short story in Ebony magazine on January 1991 under the title "One Small Torch."

JaQuavis Coleman

JaQuavis Coleman is an American author. He is a member of the YMCMB book division, and along with his wife Ashley Antoinette, via the pen name Ashley & Jaquavis, is a New York Times bestselling author. He is married to New York Times Best Selling Author Ashley Antoinette. Ashley Antoinette and Jaquavis were named by Ebony magazine as one of the most powerful couples in 2012.

James R. Williams (lawyer)

James R. Williams (born 1936 in Columbus, Mississippi) is a U.S. lawyer, politician and jurist.

Williams received his undergraduate and juris doctorate degree from University of Akron.

Williams supported gun control as an Akron, Ohio councilman.

In 1974, he was the Democratic Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio.

Williams was the 25th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. As president, he was named one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine. Williams is also the principal founder of Akron-based the Alpha Phi Alpha Education Foundation and Alpha Phi Alpha Homes.In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Jayne Kennedy

Jayne Kennedy Overton (née Harrison; October 27, 1951) is an American television personality, actress, model, corporate spokeswoman, producer, writer, public speaker, philanthropist, beauty pageant titleholder and sports broadcaster. Kennedy won a 1982 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award for her performance as Julie Winters in the 1981 film Body and Soul co-starring alongside her then–husband Leon Isaac Kennedy.

Kennedy won the NAACP Theater Award for Best Producer along with her current husband Bill Overton for their production of the highly acclaimed staged musical, The Journey of the African American. Kennedy is also an Emmy Award winner for her coverage of the Rose Parade and was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the news feature on soldiers on the DMZ in South Korea for NBC's Speak Up America in 1980. Ebony Magazine announced as "One of the 20 Greatest Sex Symbols of the 20th Century," and in the 1980s, Coca Cola USA named Jayne Kennedy "The Most Admired Black Woman in America".

Joan Murray (journalist)

Joan Murray (born November 6, 1937) was the first African-American woman to report the news on a major network show. She was employed by CBS in 1965 after writing a letter to CBS-TV requesting they hire her as a news broadcaster.

Joseph Saulter

Joseph Saulter is an African-American musician, actor and video game designer. He is the co-founder of The Urban Video Game Academy and is currently the president of the DeKalb Council of the Arts, chairman of the Diversity Advisory Board at the International Game Developers Association and a full-time faculty member at the Art Institute of Atlanta in the field of audio production. Saulter is also the CEO of Entertainment Arts Research which is the first African American-owned 3D video-game development company in the United States. Saulter is probably best known for his work as a Broadway actor and musician. His Broadway credits include Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and I Love My Wife for which Saulter won a Drama Desk Award. Saulter also wrote the Drum book for Doug Henning's Broadway hit The Magic Show." Saulter is a professional jazz drummer and still performs today.

When was he born?

Saulter was featured in the October 2006 issue of Ebony magazine as "Who's Who in the Technology Boom". He is also the author of the book Introduction to Game Design and Development published by McGraw-Hill.

Krishna Kaur Khalsa

Krishna Kaur Khalsa is an African-American teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Born Thelma Oliver, she pursued a career in films and theater before in 1970 dedicating herself to empowering others through the practice of yoga.

Lerone Bennett Jr.

Lerone Bennett Jr. (October 17, 1928 – February 14, 2018) was an African-American scholar, author and social historian, known for his analysis of race relations in the United States. His best-known works include Before the Mayflower (1962) and Forced into Glory (2000), a book about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Born and raised in Mississippi, he graduated from Morehouse College in 1949. He served in the Korean War and began in journalism briefly at the Atlanta Daily World, when we was hired away by Johnson Publishing to work for JET magazine. Later, he was the long-time executive editor of Ebony magazine, and was associated with the publication for more than 50 years. Bennett also served as a visiting professor of history at Northwestern University.

Lynn Norment

Lynn Norment, born in Bolivar, Tennessee, is an African American journalist known for her 30 years of writing and editing Ebony Magazine in Chicago, Illinois, United States. She was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in 2009.

M'Lis Ward

Melissa "M'Lis" Ward is a United pilot, the first African-American female captain in commercial passenger aviation, according to Ebony magazine. Her mother, Anne B. Ward, was one of the first two black women to graduate from the Pritzker School of Medicine.Ward was brought up in the South Side of Chicago and attended Whitney Young High School. She was awarded an Air Force ROTC scholarship to college. She gained a BBA from the University of Southern California. She joined the US Air Force where she was an instructor-pilot on the C141. In November 1992 she joined United Airlines in Chicago, as a second officer on DC-10s. After nine months she became first officer on Boeing 737-200s flying out of San Francisco, moving to 727s flying out of Denver in June 1995. By 2000 she was once again flying 737 shuttles out of San Francisco.She later coached basketball at a high school in Colorado.

Moneta Sleet Jr.

Moneta J. Sleet Jr. (February 14, 1926 - September 30, 1996) was an American press photographer best known for his work as a staff photographer for Ebony magazine. In 1969 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photograph of Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow, at her husband's funeral. Sleet was the first African-American man to win the Pulitzer, and the first African American to win the award for journalism. He died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 70.

Ozell Sutton

Ozell Sutton (December 13, 1925 – December 19, 2015) was among the first blacks to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Sutton was born just outside the town of Gould, Lincoln County, Arkansas. His family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas and he graduated from Dunbar High Scnool. Sutton received his undergraduate degree in 1950 from Philander Smith College. Sutton worked at the Little Rock Democrat newspaper. In 1962, he received an honorary doctorate from Philander Smith in recognition of his political activism in the civil rights movement.He marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 in the historic March on Washington D.C., and in 1965 in the Selma to Montgomery marches.Sutton worked for Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller as the director of the Governor's Council on Human Resources. He is a founding member of the executive board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Sutton moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked for the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service.Sutton was the 26th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. As president, he was named one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine.In 2012, he was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal from President Barack Obama for being among the first blacks to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. He died in Atlanta on December 19, 2015 at the age of 90.

Ozier Muhammad

Ozier Muhammad is an American photojournalist who has been on the staff of The New York Times since 1992. He has also worked for Ebony Magazine, The Charlotte Observer, and Newsday. He earned a B.A. in 1972 in photography from Columbia College Chicago.In 1984, Muhammad won the George Polk Award for News Photography.As a photographer for Newsday, Muhammad shared the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting with Josh Friedman and Dennis Bell "for their series on the plight of the hungry in Africa."He was selected as a photographer for the 1990 project Songs of My People.

Winnie Harlow

Winnie Harlow (born Chantelle Brown-Young; July 27, 1994) is a Canadian fashion model and public spokesperson on the skin condition vitiligo. She gained prominence as a contestant on the twenty-first cycle of the U.S. television series America's Next Top Model due to her condition.

African-American press

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.