|Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.A Page From Our American Story
In the first half of the twentieth century, Americans became fascinated with photo journalism. Pictures were literally “worth a thousand words” as full-color magazines and tabloid newspapers became the rage.
Publications targeted to African American audiences that featured illustrations and photographs began appearing in the early 1900s. One of the earliest to effectively use illustrations and photography was The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP. Seeking to educate and inform its readers with scholarly articles, the covers of the journal and its entertainment section were designed to appeal to the masses of African Americans.
In the 1930s, we see pictorial magazines such as Abbott’s Monthly, published by Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper, and Flash, which billed itself as a “weekly newspicture magazine.” Published in Washington, D.C., Flash contained a mixture of news, gossip and advertisements and articles on racial issues, providing an overview of the highs and the lows of Black life in the 1930’s.
In 1942, African American businessman John H. Johnson founded the Johnson Publishing Company, a corporation that would go on to publish the well-known magazines Ebony, Jet, Tan, and Ebony Jr. The magazines promoted African American achievements and affirmative black imagery in popular culture, which appealed to readers … and to advertisers. Mr. Johnson was a savvy businessman and used the statistics of a rising black middle class to persuade companies and businesses that it was in their economic “self-interest” to advertise in his magazines to reach African American consumers.
With the success of the Johnson Publishing Company’s magazines, other magazines targeted to African Americans quickly came on the scene. For example, in 1947 Horace J. Blackwell published Negro Achievements, a magazine highlighting African American success articles and featuring reader-submitted true confessions stories. After Blackwell died in 1949, a white businessman named George Levitan bought the company and renamed the publication Sepia. This publication featured columns by writer John Howard Griffin, a white man who darkened his skin and wrote about his treatment in the segregated South, that eventually became the best-selling book Black Like Me.
Whether featuring positive images of African Americans, inspiration stories, news features or commentaries on racism, the rise of African American magazines defied long-held racial stereotypes through rich storytelling, in-depth reporting, and stunning photography.
Due to a variety of economic, editorial, and other factors, most of these magazines have ceased being published. Yet today some African American magazines are still a thriving part of popular culture. Johnson Publishing Company’s Ebony and its digital sites reach nearly 72% of African Americans and have a following of over 20.4 million people.
To read past Our American Stories, visit our archives.
Posted by Nils Frahm, composer
Posted: 08 Nov 2014 11:47 PM PST
A quarter-century later, it is our obligation to tell this story to all those who couldn’t be there, who could not feel the spark of the peaceful revolution and, more importantly, who are fortunate enough not to know the feeling of an incarcerated, divided existence, trapped behind concrete walls. It is a story that demands to be told today, and for generations to come.
I’m excited to have been part of making this doodle commemorating such a pivotal moment in history — to learn more about the making-of, check out the doodle team’s post here. We should all take the time to celebrate 25 years of unity.
Posted by Nils Frahm, composer
a debate from 5/2011, that is still relevant
With all the commotion about birthers, birthrights, citizenship and or any of the combinations out there, the past birther comments from trump and maybe his family made me wonder not only about their beliefs but what their supporter followers believe and if they even know how narrow minded this man might be. The idea that people actually are able to run for political office without being vetted sufficiently enough is heartbreaking and offensive. We cannot be so lax and not use all the tools needed to pull out important information like; will you represent ALL the people in your State or just a select few and please make a list that all Americans can look at. Naturally this issue struck me as concerning and a real problem as it affects all our families past, present and future. I guess birthrights was something he contemplated for awhile and considering what is currently in our News any and all speeches and or comments about birtherism should be posted and made available for anyone wondering how he feels about birthright citizenship. Therefore, I did a few weeks ago and this week I received a couple of comments via email so i posted and responded to both, which are below
ME: The reason i posted comments from Trough on my blog is because we all need to see and read what people say about birth rights and why – make sure our children of the future do not grow up to talk like or promote and learn it from people like Trough –
ME: Your comments about what Ron Paul wrote are your opinions, which if you live here in America are a right not a privilege and should not be taken for granted. What i did not like or agree and are in fact lies like your statements about President Obama. I saw your pix and you look like one of my sisters so to hear a person of colour write such things seemed odd and offensive. I know it makes no difference to you but both my parents are mixed and while there is def a long history of why i come from such a multi ethnic&; cultured family, we were brought up to accept rejoice and realize that America is a country made up of immigrants. We would not be such a rich and diverse country had the attitude you and Ron Paul have. In fact, with that kind of attitude, our families would not be in America let alone take part in that quest to make our lives and or our children’s lives better if Ron and Rand Paul had their way. I take issue with people who do not accept the 14th Amendment or who use race to bash and promote hate fear without evidence that anyone is bad simply because they might be undocumented. I don’t know about you but anyone that says no one in their family history was an immigrant is lying and if they made it to America then you should praise and thank them. I know that a complicit relationship was made a long time ago by big business who figured out how to cheat while paying little or nothing to people (immigrants) who had and still have no rights to fight back. We are a nation with- the rule of law and the undocumented need to be dealt with because no one has done so correctly – President Obama did not start this, however he did bring immigration out of the shadows. I don’t know why anyone would punish a child born in America of an undocumented mother because the quest for a better life for her child was the most important thing unless of course her intent was to wreak havoc or was a terrorist but i wager that the truth leans more toward looking for a better life. I think the Dream Act would help take care of all those children who for the most part are great students some have become great teachers and or innovators that should have an opportunity to do good things for America. We should hold companies accountable. The undocumented, if upstanding given an opportunity and a path toward citizenship-Ron Paul says anchor babies are wrong and if i read your comment about birthright citizenship and how it relates to anchor babies correctly you seem to insist that President Obama is something other than an American and that is a lie – I really think you need to do some of your own research. Btw, not all Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics or Whites are bad but you do know America has white terrorists who are bad-
Final comments left …
Actually, I went to your site and read your comments or what you call critiques. I said we live in America and thank goodness, freedom of speech is just one great reason to live here. However, I read your comments in a much diff way and will stand firm. I think it’s fun and amusing that anyone would give themselves props for anything the mainstream media says because in my opinion it’s lame offensive and full of lies. If that is what you want, props for them and so be it, but most people are not happy with the right of center biased comments from “the media.” My President , President Barack H. Obama is not only underestimated people boost his polls because they are actually comparing and contrasting his comments against what the Republican Tea Party and the folks who control cable news as well as mainstream media thank you very much. I know a lot of folks would love to take the victory lap but he is his own force moving toward that change 53% of Americans voted for – I give any and or all props to this President -full credit for all that he does. – Well, welcome to America and thank you for responding to the rethinking birthrights citizenship essay that Ron Paul wrote though if I read your blog correctly you support his point of view, which was why I responded originally. I still am offended by his views in that essay as well as anything else he says when he is on the airwaves about Race, birthright including the 14thAmendment.
I recommend checking out the Mann V Ford post and click on some of the links … the link above is a hidden gem, fierce documentation of corporate excessive use of and possibly the worse abuse of power …
Saving Water Partnership
Seattle and participating water utilities
Many people think that having an environmentally friendly house means spending thousands of dollars on solar panels or planting a garden on the roof to keep the house cool during the summer time.
That’s not really the case. There are many things you can do to help the environment without having to transform your home, or even spend too much money. In fact, you might end up saving hundreds of dollars per year in the process.
For more information click on the link below
chief victims of global warming are women
women walk miles for water and gather the firewood … and women grow the food