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Edward Lewis

Magazine publisher and entrepreneur Edward Lewis was born on May 15, 1940, in the Bronx, New York. His father was a night shift janitor at City College; his mother a factory worker and beautician. Lewis attended De Witt Clinton High School, where he excelled academically and was a star fullback on the football team. Upon graduating from high school in 1958, he earned a football scholarship to the University of New Mexico. Lewis received his B.A. degree in political science in 1964 and his M.A. degree in political science and international relations in 1966, both from the University of New Mexico. He later graduated from Harvard University’s Small Business Management Program.

Lewis worked first as an administrative analyst for the City Manager’s Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1964 to 1965, and then as a financial analyst at First National City Bank in New York City from 1965 to 1969. In 1969, he co-founded Essence, a magazine specifically targeted to black women, and went on to serve as CEO and publisher of Essence Communications, Inc. for three decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, Lewis expanded Essence Communications to include a weekly television show, fashion line and mail order catalogue, as well as an annual awards show and Essence music festival. In 1992, Lewis acquired Income Opportunities from Davis Publishing; and, in 1995, he co-founded Latina magazine, a bilingual publication geared toward Hispanic women.

In 1997, Lewis became the first African American chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. In October 2000, Lewis engineered a partnership with Time, Inc. and Essence Communications was sold to Time in 2005. He later joined the private equity firm Solera Capital as a senior adviser and published a memoir, The Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women, in 2014.

Lewis has sat on the boards of TransAfrica, the Rheeland Foundation, New York City Partnership, the Central Park Conservancy, A&P, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Teachers College of Columbia University, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and the Harlem Village Academy; and served as chairman of Latina Media Ventures. He also served on President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors for the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Essence magazine ranked seventh on Advertising Age’s 2003 “A-List,” which was the first time that an African American targeted publication received the honor. Lewis’s personal awards include the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Publishing from Ernst & Young; the President’s Award from One Hundred Black Men of America, Inc.; the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League; the United Negro College Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Advertising Federation Diversity Achievement Award; the Henry Johnson Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Henry Luce Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2014.

Edward Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.224

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2014

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

DeWitt Clinton High School

University of New Mexico

Georgetown University Law Center

P.S. 35 Stephen Decatur School

P.S. 2 Morrisania School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

LEW20

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bali, Indonesia

Favorite Quote

No Doubt About It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/15/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potato

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive and entrepreneur Edward Lewis (1940 - ) cofounded Essence Communications, Inc., where he served as the CEO and publisher of Essence magazine.

Employment

Solera Capital

Essence Communications, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:8058,82:9180,93:9588,98:10914,116:15708,214:16422,222:29136,416:29815,424:44994,705:95065,1324:96374,1344:98068,1377:102457,1444:107924,1526:158530,2181$0,0:300,3:700,8:12287,123:12691,128:18246,201:18953,209:19357,214:22412,250:34602,501:34894,506:60475,890:87458,1301:100991,1466:100481,1477:101017,1494:101553,1503:102022,1513:107918,1629:127357,1951:150944,2279:161648,2458:162043,2464:167336,2578:168363,2603:168916,2612:169627,2623:169943,2628:180990,2778:182270,2796:182830,2804:216717,3199:220480,3273:221502,3282:234955,3464:235175,3469:235670,3480:238640,3515:239207,3524:250164,3684:250822,3693:251950,3708:257496,3789:263341,3861:263852,3869:266283,3883:268303,3912:269010,3920:269717,3933:274460,3988:279860,4067:282470,4075
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edward Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about his experiences as an only child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis talks about his maternal family members

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis talks about his maternal family's decision to move north

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Edward Lewis remembers his maternal aunt, Matilene Spencer Berryman

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Edward Lewis describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis remembers his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis describes the racial dynamics of the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers his education in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis describes his upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis remembers caring for his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis remembers visiting his maternal family in Farmville, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis describes his neighborhood in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis remembers DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis recalls his recruitment to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis talks about adjusting to the University of New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis remembers losing his college athletic scholarship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis recalls his coursework in Russian history

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes his student activism

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis remembers his admission to Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis talks about the careers of his football teammates at the University of New Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis talks about President Richard Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis recalls losing his scholarship to Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis remembers his experiences at First National City Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers the formation of The Hollingsworth Group, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis remembers the formation of The Hollingsworth Group, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis describes the initial structure of The Hollingsworth Group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis remembers the first issue of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis talks about the founding of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis describes the early advertising in Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis recalls the overhead costs at Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers his mentors in the publishing industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about the success of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about the early editors in chief of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis remembers his former business partners' lawsuit

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis describes Essence's relationship with Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis remembers Marcia Ann Gillespie

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis recalls promoting Susan Taylor as the editor in chief of Essence magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis talks about the magazine industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis describes the growth of Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis remembers creating the Essence Music Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about the success of the Essence Music Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about Black Enterprise magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes the advertising challenges at Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis remembers his business relationship with John H. Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis talks about Camille Cosby's board membership at Essence Communications, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Edward Lewis describes the negotiations between Essence Communications, Inc. and Time Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Edward Lewis describes his departure from Essence Communications, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Edward Lewis talks about the future of Essence magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Edward Lewis describes his departure from Essence Communications, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Edward Lewis talks about the title of his book, 'The Man from Essence'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Edward Lewis talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Edward Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Edward Lewis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Edward Lewis describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Edward Lewis reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Edward Lewis talks about his second marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Edward Lewis describes his aspiration to become a blues singer

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Edward Lewis recalls his coursework in Russian history
Edward Lewis remembers creating the Essence Music Festival
Transcript
Well, you also took up Russian studies and?$$I was very--my curiosity in terms of reading, I read some of the great Russian novelists: Tolstoy [Leo Tolstoy], Dostoyevsky [Fyodor Dostoyevsky]; and I decided to take Russian history. And--I had already taken Russian civilization--that's required when you, in your first years at the university [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico]. But my interest in Russian history, the professor there was a man named Henry Tobias [Henry J. Tobias]. Henry was a graduate, from Paterson, New Jersey, went to Ohio; got his Ph.D. in Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California]. But he taught Russian history, and I took this course. And just--I just ate it up. And I did not know that Professor Tobias was interested in me; and I was on my way--I had gone to the student administration building. I was on my way to the student union to get some coffee, he was coming out, the professor, and he said, "Ed [HistoryMaker Edward Lewis], are you going to have some coffee?" And I said yes. He said, "Do you mind if I sit with you?" I said, "By all means, please." And we sat and he proceeded to--he and I proceeded, to talk for the next three and a half hours. I had never had anyone do that with me. And so as a result of that, this man just opened my head up intellectually; and then I took Russian history. He also taught Chinese history, so I took Chinese history. And so my background in terms of--I was a political science major, but I had an interest in international affairs--particularly, Russian and Chinese history. And so in my travels, I've gone to the Far East, I'm going to China, I've not been to Russia yet but I hope to go to Moscow [Russia] and St. Petersburg [Russia] at some point. But I have a, just a familiarity of Russia, in particularly how serfs, serfdom was portrayed, and how these Russians had to overcome that; and I compare that to how we as blacks had to live in a society in terms of how we had to overcome, too. So I just sort found some familiarity in things of--and when I looked at what happened to the people who were really slaves too and looked at what is happening to us.$So talk about how that came, came about 'cause--?$$That came about because--1994, I was having drinks with a legend in the jazz world, impresario, a man by the name of George Wein. He--George started Newport Jazz Festival, he has a New Orleans jazz festival [New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival]. And he and I were having drinks, and I was telling him about my upcoming, upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary of Essence [Essence Communications, Inc.]. And I'd like--and I, I said, "I'm gonna do the same thing, big party in New York [New York], thank all the advertisers and thank everyone," I said, "I'd like to do something a little bit different." He said to me, "Have you ever thought about doing a music festival in New Orleans [Louisiana] at the Superdome [Louisiana Superdome; Mercedes-Benz Superdome] over the 4th of July weekend?" I looked at him, "No, I had not thought about that." But there was a germ of a, of a, a synergistic opportunity. New Orleans, music, magazine--maybe there's something there. So I suggested he come to my office, make a presentation. He did to Clarence [Clarence Smith], Susan [HistoryMaker Susan Taylor] and my chief financial officer [Harry Dedyo]. Everyone was lukewarm. I listened and thought about it and decided to come to do it and he and I were partners. We were equal partners, 50/50 partners, and that's how we came together in 1995. Lo and behold we had about--roughly, about 100--between 100 and 145,000 people who came. And I can remember giving my speech to fifty thousand people at the Superdome, thanking everyone from the bottom of my heart. I was humble that people would come out and, and be supportive of Essence over its twenty-five years of being in business; and that's how it happened. And the very next year, however, I was about to pull the plug because the, the governor, the new governor of the State of Louisiana, Robert Foster [sic. Mike Foster], made the decision to eliminate all affirmative action programs for the State of Louisiana. I'm a big proponent of affirmative action; and, and, and the way we promoted the festival [Essence Music Festival] was through the magazine, and so word of mouth had gotten out that we may not be doing this, and as you can well imagine, that precipitated a reaction. Marc Morial [HistoryMaker Marc H. Morial], who is now leader of the Urban League [National Urban League] was mayor of, of, of New Orleans. I was--as I said, I was not going back, but then the lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Blanco [Kathleen Blanco], who ultimately became the governor called me and asked if I would be willing to meet with the governor of Louisiana and tell you a story. And I was open to that. And I was--and I also knew that the Urban League was going to hold its convention in New Orleans several weeks later. So I called Hugh, [HistoryMaker] Hugh Price, and told him what I was thinking: "Why don't you hold off doing the, doing the Urban League and you and I go together to Louisiana, Baton Rouge." We went and I explained to the governor why affirmative action is so important to me. I said there's one of our great entertainers, it was a man by the name of James Brown, he had some lyrics, one of his songs ['I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing'], open the door. And all I asked, in terms of how I define affirmative action, is to open the door. Once the door's open, you don't need to give me anything. I can compete with anybody, but what happens is that we don't even get a chance to open the door. And so if you don't open the door, I'm gonna fight you tooth and nail. And he listened, got him to modify his affirmative action edict enough for me to make the decision to go back in 1996. By the time I had decided to go back, word had gotten out that we were not coming back, we're not able to get the sponsors; I lost over a million dollars. And George Wein, who had been my partner decided that this was too onerous and so that's when I made another decision that Essence would do this on its own; and, and so the rest is really history.

Leonard Burnett, Jr.

Magazine publishing entrepreneur and executive Leonard Burnett was born on April 18, 1964 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His family was involved in franchising, which sparked his interest in entrepreneurship. After attending the University of Michigan for two years, Burnett went on to Florida A&M University, where he received his B.B.A. degree in business, management and marketing in 1986.

Burnett went into business with his classmate, Keith Clinkscales, to launch his first magazine, Urban Profile, in 1987, to fill a void in the media market. In 1992, Burnett and Clinkscales sold Urban Profile to Career Communications and got involved in the creation of Vibe magazine. From 1993 to 1999, Burnett served as a publisher and advertising director for the magazine. In 1999, he co-founded Vanguarde Media Group with Clinkscales. Burnett served as vice president and group publisher with Vanguarde and helped launch three successful urban magazines: Savoy, Honey, and Heart & Soul. In 2004, Burnett co-founded Uptown Media Group, or Uptown Ventures, publisher of Uptown magazine, where he served as the chief executive. The following year he helped Vibe magazine launch Vibe: Vixen. After Vibe reopened under new ownership in 2009, he served as the group publisher for the magazine until 2012.

In 2010, Burnett co-authored Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans. In 2013, he founded U Brands after re-purchasing Uptown magazine from InterMedia Partners and acquired Worldwide Electronic Publishing, the publisher of Hype Hair magazine. Burnett has successfully expanded the Uptown brand and reached underserved communities. He also has spoken at the ADCOLOR Awards and is considered an expert of African American buying power, brand-building, and marketing to both urban and affluent African American communities.

Burnett lives in New York City and has two children, Lenny Burnett III and Rani Burnett.

Leonard Burnett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.148

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/10/2014

Last Name

Burnett

Maker Category
Middle Name

Everett

Schools

Moreland Elementary School

Sterrett Elementary School

The Campus School Of Carlow University

Sacred Heart Elementary School

Shrine Catholic High School

University of Michigan

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leonard

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

BUR24

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha’s Vineyard and St. Martin

Favorite Quote

If You Have To Say Who You Are, You Ain’t.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/18/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes

Short Description

Magazine publishing entrepreneur and magazine publishing chief executive Leonard Burnett, Jr. (1964 - ) was the cofounder of Vanguarde Media and cofounder and co-CEO of Uptown Ventures, the publisher of Uptown magazine. He was also author of Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans.

Employment

Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Urban Profile

Vibe Ventures

Vanguarde Media, Inc.

Uptown Media

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:2208,13:3712,72:4088,77:14909,206:17237,240:21602,319:26840,429:28683,493:33145,574:33630,589:37995,685:45998,728:53152,822:53838,835:54524,840:57954,958:80720,1387:95292,1535:95884,1540:139450,2091:143779,2283:149896,2412:157067,2532:166190,2626$0,0:1748,31:4600,73:5704,88:20976,375:38862,546:45774,643:46530,651:47394,660:49554,679:51174,700:53118,726:55494,759:61738,820:62312,829:64280,872:69692,970:70266,981:71660,1025:74202,1084:74612,1090:75678,1113:76170,1121:76498,1126:77072,1136:77482,1142:83714,1294:85272,1326:88962,1417:89454,1424:90848,1472:102779,1581:105093,1638:124565,1945:129980,1996:133115,2175:140905,2294:153060,2378:157920,2479:170823,2696:180654,2942:187325,2988:187750,2994:188770,3009:189875,3027:192520,3060:193510,3098:194038,3112:194302,3122:195952,3177:196282,3183:199450,3276:199912,3284:204136,3408:210024,3447:218625,3540:219189,3549:220458,3585:221586,3599:224810,3607:226420,3633
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leonard Burnett, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his father's family background and early football career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his father's entrepreneurial career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his early interest in sports

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his early career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his family's frequent moves

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his experiences in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers transferring to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his first impressions of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his growth at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his experiences in Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the community at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls pledging the the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett reflects upon his formative development in college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his early sales experiences at the Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers cofounding Urban Profile magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls operating Urban Profile magazine full time

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls joining the Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the launch of Vibe magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls selling advertisements for Vibe magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the early staff of Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the emergence of hip hop culture

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes the initial challenges at Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls the ownership transition period at Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett recalls leaving Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his attempts to buy XXL and Honey magazines

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his acquisition of Honey magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls acquiring magazines from BET

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the downfall of Vanguarde Media

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the aftermath of Vanguarde Media's bankruptcy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his inspiration to return to work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about founding Uptown magazine, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about founding Uptown magazine, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his return to Vibe magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the changes in the magazine industry in the early 2000s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the business plan for Uptown magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about Keith Clinkscales' career after the end of Vanguarde Media

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls acquiring Vibe magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the acquisition of Vibe magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls divesting from Vibe to focus on Uptown magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes the U Brands company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about U Brands' projects

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. reflects upon his legacy and career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his father's opinion of his career path

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. shares his advice to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the launch of Vibe magazine
Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the emergence of hip hop culture
Transcript
And so doing that and then Keith [HistoryMaker Keith Clinkscales] got a call from Time Inc. They had--well back up. So Time Inc. had launched or did a test issue of this magazine called Vibe. And Vibe in their first little test issue had more ads than we had ever had in any, in all our combined issues. And so, but that sort of empowered us more. You know it was like you know, you know whoever is doing Vibe you know uncle time, you know they, they go had fund (unclear) and you know do this and we're just out here doing our own thing and we will make it happen, you know. We will just keep pushing, we're black owned, we're that. And so Keith got a call from, from Time Inc. from a friend, Lynne McDaniel who is now a friend of ours. And said hey, he said to him, "Hey if you notice Urban Profile--if you guys, what are you guys doing, you know? Are you happy?" Said, "Yeah, yeah," and you know, "Have you seen Vibe?" "Yeah, yeah, we've, we've seen it. It's cute you know." "Well we want to launch it and we were thinking about you and Len [HistoryMaker Leonard Burnett, Jr.] maybe coming up and help launching the magazine." And Keith's response was you know, "We all sort of both felt like okay that's, that's nice you know, but we're entrepreneurs, we're doing our own thing. We have our own autonomy you know, this is what I'm doing." "Okay well we're paying this much money." It was like, "Oh we'll be there tomorrow," (laughter). And so we, Keith went up in let's see, Keith went up in late '92 [1992] and I came down in February of '93 [1993] and just part of the team that launched the--$$And what was your role?$$I was the sales guy, I was account exec. So Keith was the president and CEO. I was account exec. A gentleman by the name of John Rollins you know technically hired, he hired me and I sold music advertising and had all the black agencies 'cause you know I was you know I was the black guy so I got all the black agencies. And, and so we were part of the team that launched Vibe. And you know great environment, met all sorts of people you know that, but, but the big thing was I'm back in New York City [New York, New York]. I cannot believe I'm back in New York. This was not what my life's plan was to be. Keith and I got a little studio apartment in Hell's Kitchen [New York, New York] you know while we were trying to figure out where we were gonna live you know but we were never there, we'd be in the office all the time. And we were you know all working hard trying to make this Vibe thing you know become a real business and a reality. And so that's how we got back.$So I wanna talk about what was going on culturally in America during the time that Vibe began and really had an incredible assent.$$Um-hm.$$What, you know, hip hop was just beginning. What--can you describe what was happening?$$Yeah. So you know hip hop you know it was beginning to become, be put on the map.$$Correct.$$You know 'cause it had, it had been there right, of course. And then the, but, but there was a sense of empowerment that was coming about from not the, the music. The music sort of drove everything, you know, culturally, politically, entrepreneur wise, fashion. Technically, it did, it drove all that and so what was quickly becoming known is, and Vibe really helped propel this, is our influence on American culture. We knew that, that the day was coming you know so we would talk. We would sell the idea hey when you grow up you'll listen to first music we listened to was pop music, you know. There are kids that were birthed around this time. The first music they're gonna listen to and the first radio station was gonna be a hip hop station. Their first athletes they're gonna fall in love with were black athletes basketball player. The, the, you know, the, the you know Serena [Serena Williams], the best black; the best tennis players were, were black. Golf champion [Tiger Woods] was black. And all this stuff was sort of happening. And was sort of turning America sort of upside down. This is it. And so what we knew at that time early on before we knew somehow was happening is that's where it was all going. No matter how much you didn't agree with it or what you didn't want to happen. What was going--what was happening was the browning of America not only from skin, but in terms of its aesthetic. And--$$Uh-huh.$$--and so you need--so the conversation was you can either jump in this conversation now and go for the ride or I'll see you later on down the road and it's gonna be a lot more expensive too, you know. And, and don't, and hope that no one else comes in along the way and jumps over you because they, they embraced it rather than fought it. And so, and so you know, and so everything was going on you know it's in the news. So there, there was a vibrance in a, and again empowerment. There were businesses being started in fashion or record labels being launched. And there were movies and movie companies coming out that were you know producing you know, black producers of movies. So obviously there was Spike Lee, but then you know the Hudlin brothers [HistoryMaker Reginald Hudlin and Warrington Hudlin], and you know, the, the whether it was just movies you know there, there were a plethora of movies were coming out that were about us and our culture and it start off very hip hop but then it grew into more of just our lifestyle, you know. So it wasn't all about gang banging and rap and it was about love. It was about family and all of our stories. And so there was a movement and I think there was a, again because of the music there was a sense of again going back to the idea of entre- being an entrepreneur, people didn't feel that they had to go work for Corporate America. There were other alternatives. There were other things that were going on whether it was going to work for a fashion company that was targeting our audience or whether it was starting your own business. I mean there was just a--there was a sense that you could do anything. And that was an exciting time, you know. And it, you know less to do about I think Vibe sort of told the stories but it's really the hip hop music and the culture that was making it happen.

Sheryl Hilliard Tucker

Magazine executive Sheryl Hilliard Tucker was born on July 13, 1956 in Passaic, New Jersey to Arthur and Audrey Hilliard. Interested in writing and journalism early in life, she wrote for the alternative newspaper in her hometown of Rutherford, New Jersey. In 1974, she graduated from Rutherford High School and attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she created two multicultural publications, Eclipse and Umoja Sasa, and received her B.A. degree in 1978. She then went on to attend Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and graduated with her M.A. degree in 1982.

In 1977, Tucker interned at Woman’s Day magazine and then was hired by CBS Special Interest Publications as an associate editor to work on a variety of themed publications such as Woman’s Day Guide To Working Woman. In 1982, she was hired as the personal finance associate editor at Black Enterprise, and was promoted to managing editor after a year and a half. Tucker left Black Enterprise in 1987 to work with her husband’s design and advertising firm, Hilliard Tucker Marketing Communications, where she worked for three years. She then returned to Black Enterprise as the magazine’s editor-in-chief and vice president in 1990.

Tucker moved to Money magazine in 1995, where she managed some of the publication’s most important franchises, including the annual Money Summit. She also created a partnership with the National Football League to develop the NFL Rookie Financial Bootcamp. In 2005, as executive editor, Tucker played a key role in the overhaul of Money’s design. In 2006, she was appointed executive editor of Time, Inc.; and, in 2009, became acting editor in chief of Essence magazine. One year later, Tucker transitioned her career into corporate responsibility and philanthropy and re-launched the Time Warner Foundation. In 2014, she was named director of development and marketing for AFS Intercultural Programs.

Tucker has edited several books, including Prime Time: African American Women’s Guide to Midlife Health and Wellness and The New MONEY Book of Personal Finance, and co-authored Tomorrow Begins Today: African-American Women as We Age.

Tucker has been honored by many organizations, including Glamour magazine, the New York City YWCA Academy of Women Achievers and 100 Black Men of America. She is a member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees, chair of the Gaston Porter Health Improvement Center, and former co-chair of the Time Warner Women’s Network.

She is married to Roger C. Tucker, a private art dealer and educator. They have two adult children, Ara and Alexis, who are both attorneys.

Sheryl Hilliard Tucker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.103

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/11/2014

Last Name

Hilliard-Tucker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Rutherford High School

Cornell University

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sheryl

Birth City, State, Country

Passaic

HM ID

HIL17

State

New Jersey

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/13/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive Sheryl Hilliard Tucker (1956 - ) was director of development and marketing for AFS Intercultural Programs. She served as editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise and Essence magazines, and as executive editor of Time, Inc.

Employment

Woman's Day Magazine

CBS Special Interest Publications

Black Enterprise

Hilliard Tucker Marketing Communications

Money Magazine

Time Inc.

Essence Magazine

Time Warner Foundation

AFS Intercultural Programs

Derek Dingle

Publishing executive Derek T. Dingle was born on November 2, 1961 in New York City. He graduated from Norfolk State University with a B.A. in journalism and also completed the Magazine Management Program at New York University.

Dingle joined Black Enterprise magazine in 1983 as an assistant editor and was promoted six months later to associate editor. After he completed the New York University magazine management program in 1985, he was made a senior editor. In 1987, Dingle was promoted once again to managing editor, a position he held until 1990. He then joined the staff of Money magazine, where he wrote articles about mutual fund investment and served as senior writer and a member of the planning team for Money Special on Small Business. In 1991, Dingle co-founded Milestone Media Inc., the nation's largest black-owned comic book company, with childhood friends Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffue, Michael Davis and Christopher Priest. After resigning from Money magazine in 1992, he was named Milestone’s president and CEO. One Milestone character, Static Shock, was developed into an animated series that ran from 2000 to 2005 on the WB Network and the Cartoon Network. In December of 1999, Dingle returned to Black Enterprise magazine as editor-at-large. Within a year, he was promoted to vice president and executive editor, serving until July of 2008. That year, Dingle was appointed as the senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise magazine, where he was responsible for the strategic planning and editorial direction of the magazine. In 2014, Dingle was named a Chief Content Officer of Black Enterprise. In this capacity, he oversaw content development and strategy for the "Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference Expo," as well as other custom events, including the Black Enterprise/Walmart 20/20 Vision Forum on Supplier Diversity, the Black Enterprise/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Education Symposium Series, the American black Film Festival, and the Baltimore African American Film Festival. In addition, Dingle had executive oversight of both Black Enterprise television shows: "Black Enterprise Business Report" and "Our World with Black Enterprise."

Dingle authored countless Black Enterprise magazine cover stories and editorials and appeared as a business expert on numerous television networks and radio programs, including CNN, CNBC, NBC's "Weekend Today," and National Public Radio. An award-winning editor, Dingle is the author of three books: Black Enterprise Titans of the B.E. 100s: Black CEOs Who Redefined and Conquered American Business (1999), Black Enterprise Lessons from the Top: Success Strategies from America’s Leading Black CEOs (2007), and First in the Field: Jackie Robinson, Baseball Hero (1998), which received a 1999 International Reading Association Award. Dingle serves as a general member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). He also serves as a member of the board of directors for Norfolk State University's School of Communications, and on the advisory board for the New York Urban League’s Manhattan Chapter.

Dingle lives in Guttenberg, New Jersey.

Derek T. Dingle was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 20, 2014 and on December 14, 2016.

Accession Number

A2014.091

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/20/2014 |and| 12/14/2016

Last Name

Dingle

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Terrence

Schools

Norfolk State University

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Derek

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

DIN04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

mediterranean

Favorite Quote

Unbelievable.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/2/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburger

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive and publishing executive Derek Dingle (1961 - ) co-founded and then served as president and CEO of Milestone Media Inc., the nation’s largest African American-owned comic book company, in 1992. In 2008, Dingle was appointed as the senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise magazine.

Employment

Black Enterprise

Money Magazine

Milestone Media

Favorite Color

Blue

Tanya-Monique Kersey

Magazine editor and magazine publishing chief executive Tanya-Monique Kersey was born on March 22, 1961 in New York City, New York to Cynthia and Al Smith Kersey. She earned her B.A. degree in political science and sociology from Douglass College at Rutgers University in 1983. Kersey began her entertainment career working as a model. She then transitioned into acting, performing in commercials, voiceovers and industrial films.

Kersey appeared on several soap operas such as, All My Children, Search for Tomorrow and The Guiding Light. In 1990, Kersey published the Black State of the Arts: A Guide to Developing a Successful Career as a Black Performing Artist. This book became a proverbial how to manual for African Americans who are launching a career in the industry. In 1994, she established the magazine Black Talent News that focused on news from film, television, theatre and new media industries. After two years of publication Black Talent News became the first African American trade magazine to be accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Television Critics’ Association. In 1997, Kersey participated in the annual Infotainment Conference. In 1999, Black Talent News launched its website www.blacktalentnews.com, which shares information about the industry via the internet. That same year, Kersey began the Hollywood Black Film Festival, a six day celebration of African American cinema. In 2002, Kersey authored and compiled The Black Film Report and the Black Talent News Resource Directory. Kersey is also a frequent contributor and co-host on the Samm Brown’s for the Record radio, show delivering the Urban Entertainment Report on RPFK radio in Los Angeles, California. Kersey is the executive producer of the entertainment newsmagazine show, Inside Urban Hollywood with Tanya Kersey.

In 2002 Kersey was named a “Living History Maker” by Turning Point Magazine . In this same year, she was also named one of Hollywood’s Urban Movers and Shakers by Daily Variety for her work as publisher and editor-in-chief of Black Talent News , as well as for being the founder and executive director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Kersey serves on the marketing advisory board of the Independent Feature Project/West and the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou. She is also a member of the Media Industry Advisory Board at West Los Angeles College.

Tanya- Monique Kersey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 8, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.198

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/8/2007

Last Name

Kersey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Separated

Schools

St. Benedict Day Nursery

P.S. 41 02M041 Greenwich Village School

Haworth Public School

Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest

Douglass Residential College

First Name

Tanya

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

KER02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cancun, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Hell To The No.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/22/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Short Description

Magazine editor and magazine publishing chief executive Tanya-Monique Kersey (1961 - ) was the founder and executive director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival in addition to being both publisher and editor-in-chief of Black Talent News.

Employment

Vibe Magazine

Comp USA

Author

Black Talent News

Infotainment Conference

Hollywood Black Film Festival

Favorite Color

White

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tanya-Monique Kersey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tanya-Monique Kersey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes the sights, sound and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her mother's profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her family gatherings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her mother's physical appearance

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her West Indian ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Tanya-Monique remembers her mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her mother's surprise birthday party

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tanya-Monique Kersey remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her father's discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her paternal stepgrandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tanya-Monique Kersey recalls her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tanya-Monique Kersey remembers the community of Haworth, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her father's work with Clarence Thomas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Tanya-Monique Kersey recalls her parents' move to Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Tanya-Monique Kersey remembers her father's influence

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tanya-Monique remembers her family's vacations

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tanya-Monique Kersey remembers the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tanya-Monique Kersey remembers the Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest in New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her early modeling career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tanya-Monique Kersey remembers Douglass Residential College in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her racial identity

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tanya-Monique Kersey recalls working as a stand-in on 'The Cosby Show,' pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tanya-Monique Kersey recalls working as a stand-in on 'The Cosby Show,' pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her early acting career

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about writing her book

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about upper middle class black culture

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her book, 'Black State of the Arts'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about the Black Talent News

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tanya-Monique Kersey recalls developing the Black Talent News

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about the importance of computer literacy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes the Infotainment Conference

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about her daughters

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes her marriages

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about raising her daughters

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Tanya-Monique Kersey reflects upon her career

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes the Hollywood Black Film Festival, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes the Hollywood Black Film Festival, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about the success of the Hollywood Black Film Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tanya-Monique Kersey reflects upon the future of the black film industry, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tanya-Monique Kersey reflects upon the future of the black film industry, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tanya-Monique Kersey shares her advice for aspiring actors

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tanya-Monique Kersey talks about the lack of roles for female actresses

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Tanya-Monique Kersey describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Tanya-Monique Kersey narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$11

DATitle
Tanya-Monique Kersey recalls developing the Black Talent News
Tanya-Monique Kersey describes the Hollywood Black Film Festival, pt. 1
Transcript
Early in the interview you talked about the Infotainment Conference.$$Um-hm.$$In 1997, after you had gotten be- let me stop for a second and go, because I can remember what it was like being in the office when you were putting together Black Talent News. Can you talk about what a normal day was for you, please?$$It was, I tell you, my friend, Shirley [Shirley Jordan] was working with me at the time and we, you know, we had no idea what we were doing. I mean, I really didn't. I was just really blessed. I had this old Macintosh computer that I got back in, I would say 1986 to start writing the book. It was an original PC [personal computer]. It was two 386K floppy drives. No hard drive. My father [Al Kersey] got it for me at ComputerLand, or something like that. Three thousand dollars for two 386 floppy drives. No hard drive, for three thousand dollars. That and a dot matrix printer--I still have the receipt for that and I remember my father, who obviously was not in the generation of computers. He was like, "I could buy a car for this." Because back in 1986, you could buy a Pinto [Ford Pinto] or a Honda or a Toyota for $3,600 dollars, but my father bought me this computer. That's how much he supported me, that he spent $3,600 dollars on this computer, which was unheard of at that time, and I basically wrote my book on that, and that's how I was able to do everything, because I had the tool to do it. You know, I was able to do Black Talent News. We would sit up and use Microsoft Word and we would lay it out and, you know, we didn't even have scanners back then. You had to take the pictures to the photo place and they would do it, it was totally different, and I think now is how do we ever put this publication together? But we did it and we printed it out and we took it to the printer and they printed it out. It was crazy and hectic and, you know, but it was so much fun. There was so much love around. We loved what we were doing. We were making a difference. People knew we were making a difference. You know, people would call even to this day. I run into people and they just hug me. They're like, "You don't know. That changed my life. That gave me hope, you know, hearing what you guys had to say every month," you know, and it did what it did, but yet it was just constantly, trying to get people to buy ads. Nobody wanted to buy any ads from us. You know, just it was tough, it was tough, but it was great fun; and I would do it again if I had to.$You started something a few years ago that, in a town like this [Los Angeles, California] it was needed, it was most welcome and it has become an annual pilgrimage, is what I call it. We're talking about the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Can you speak about that please?$$You know, that started out of Infotainment, with filmmakers saying they wanted a place to exhibit their films and, you know, I sat down and I looked at it and I said okay. Well, because of Black Talent News, I have an in to the power brokers in Hollywood; you know, people that I know are studio executives or agents, or the people that people are trying to reach. So I have a way to get them, to bring them to the festival. And then, in terms of starting the festival, I needed to figure out how could I do it so that the industry would pay attention, and USC [University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California], being the number one film school in the country, offered me the opportunity to launch the film festival on their campus. So, there was no better way to start a black film festival in Hollywood that wanted to be considered reputable and important and relevant, than to do it on USC's campus, and that's what we did and, you know, got Forest Whitaker as our honorary chairperson, Oscar [Academy Award] winner now, you know, so to have him there and we opened with a film by [HistoryMaker] Tim Reid, with Blair Underwood and some other people. Just really got the right people there, the right mix of people. And, I think that just having Hollywood as a part of my everyday life is what legitimized it, because people were starting film festivals every day all over the world, and it's not about just starting a film festival, it's about, for the panels that you do, who are you gonna get there that will give them access, the people who can get access to movers and shakers. Lots of people have film festivals and you look at the panels and you're just like, well, what are they gonna teach me. You know, so that was my thing, was to bring Infotainment Conference, which was already established and already had a long list of power brokers and important people, bring that in, so basically the film festival absorbed Infotainment. And then, in terms of the films, you know, coming up with an identity, 'cause we didn't want to be the booty shaking hip-hop film festival. We wanted this to be a festival of films that Hollywood ignores, meaning this is the black love story, this is the black drama, this is the black action film that could be on the big screen, but isn't. We didn't want to do low brow comedies. You know, we really wanted to have a programming philosophy that would appeal to the filmmakers who were out there trying to break through, and that would appeal to the industry, and we just came up with the right combination and, you know, over the years we've just grown from three days and twenty films to six days and 125 films, and now we have over one hundred panelists every year, as we have had heads of studios, and now--I mean the list of people who have spoken is just amazing and, you know, that's because I have a great team of people; and everybody's volunteer.

Jamie Foster Brown

Magazine publisher Jamie Foster Brown was born on June 25, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois to Mamie Lee and Peter James Foster. She graduated from Calumet High School in Chicago, Illinois and attended Roosevelt University. She later received her B.A. degree from the University of Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden.

After graduating from high school, Brown worked for the Equitable Life Insurance Society and later worked at the Teletype Corporation. She was then hired as William A. Nail’s assistant at Zenith Electronics and later worked as a secretary at Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago, Illinois. In 1972, Brown and her husband, Dr. Lorenzo Brown, moved to Sweden. Together, they managed a cleaning business while finishing their respective degrees. In 1978, they returned to the United States and moved to Washington, D.C. There, Brown founded the Washington Theater Group, an organization that marketed group ticket sales for theatrical performances in 1979. In 1981, Brown was hired as Robert L. Johnson’s advertising secretary at Black Entertainment Television (BET). From 1981 to 1985, Brown worked as an assistant producer of BET’s Video Soul and Video LP programs. She left BET in 1985, and was hired at Impact magazine. In 1988, Brown founded Sister 2 Sister magazine and later created a syndicated radio show, The Sister 2 Sister Celebrity Update. Brown also appeared as a regular guest on the Joan Rivers Show and on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. In 1998, Brown published Betty Shabazz: A Sisterfriends’ Tribute in Words and Pictures. Brown also appeared on an episode of E! True Hollywood Story in 2009, and in the 2012 film Think Like a Man. Later, in 2015, Brown appeared in the television series Unsung.

In 1998, Brown received the Midwest Radio and Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was inducted into the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment, Shero Hall of Fame in 2002. She then received the Golden Scissors Lifetime Achievement Award and the Association for Women in Communications, Matrix Award for Professional Achievement. In 2008, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Bennett College. The following year, Brown received the Freedom Sisters Award from the Ford Motor Company.

Jamie Foster Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 5, 2007 and April 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2007.046

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/5/2007

2/5/2007 |and| 4/11/2019

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

Foster

Schools

Perspectives Charter - Calumet Leadership

Kershaw Elementary School

Francis W. Parker High School

Roosevelt University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jamie

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BRO42

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

What's That About?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/25/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Magazine publisher Jamie Foster Brown (1946 - ) served as assistant producer of BET’s Video Soul and Video LP programs and later founded Sister 2 Sister magazine and created the syndicated radio show, The Sister 2 Sister Celebrity Update.

Employment

Teletype Corporation

Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Company

BET

Sister 2 Sister Magazine

‘Betty Shabazz: A Sisterfriends Tribute in Words and Pictures’

Washington Theatre Group

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:16600,290:17074,297:22841,402:23236,408:36380,600:44086,755:44362,760:44914,771:45190,776:48364,864:48640,869:49813,885:61795,1034:90825,1366:100260,1555:116061,1775:139740,2044:140631,2075:142170,2105:144438,2206:161102,2421:161418,2490:162603,2507:165526,2551:167580,2620:181105,2837:183093,2876:185720,2918:189199,3003:204274,3186:213134,3288:213652,3331:213948,3336:229674,3611:240215,3804:241211,3845:243618,3868:244282,3879:252592,3929:254968,4098:276115,4321:293806,4549:299635,4619:299983,4666:305880,4740$0,0:17970,365:18750,377:21870,446:34164,545:40528,748:40898,754:55770,925:56573,938:58690,996:59493,1010:62413,1059:69537,1203:71815,1252:72485,1268:75165,1315:75433,1320:81463,1450:82334,1463:82602,1468:90570,1516:91170,1529:95520,1607:96645,1629:97770,1646:98070,1651:100845,1708:101220,1714:101820,1723:102345,1731:104970,1785:106170,1806:106620,1813:110760,1853:114054,1949:117876,1998:121162,2082:124014,2145:125626,2178:126308,2217:130524,2298:130896,2305:158485,2700:159505,2717:164150,2751
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jamie Foster Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers lessons from her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers her father's work ethic

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her parents' musical background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jamie Foster Brown describes the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers celebrating Christmas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers Calumet High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers her early work experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers meeting her husband, Lorenzo Brown

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers her husband's courtship

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls her trip to Fairfield, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls her trip to Fairfield, Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her wedding

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her husband's academic career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her sister's career at the Chicago Sun-Times

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers living in Sweden

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls the birth of her son, Randall Brown

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her early experiences of motherhood, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her relationship with her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her early experiences of motherhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her experiences in Sweden

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers her interview at Black Entertainment Television

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls working with BET founder Robert L. Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers hosting fundraisers in Sweden

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls lessons from BET founder Robert L. Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls becoming an assistant producer at BET

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers interviewing musicians at BET

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls her column for Impact magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers founding Sister 2 Sister magazine, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jamie Foster Brown remembers founding Sister 2 Sister magazine, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her interview with Bobby Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jamie Foster Brown describes the style of her interviews for Sister 2 Sister

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown reflects upon the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her interviews with hip-hop artists

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her promotions at Downtown Locker Room stores

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about the Intergenerational Celebration program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls her awards and honors

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her book, 'Betty Shabazz,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her book, 'Betty Shabazz,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jamie Foster brown describes the history of her home in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her home in Bowie, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her home in Bowie, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown describes the Washington Theater Group

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her oldest son

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls the shooting of her son, Randall Brown, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls the shooting of her son, Randall Brown, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls the shooting of her son, Randall Brown, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown recalls the community's support after her son's shooting

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jamie Foster Brown shares her advice to aspiring magazine publishers

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jamie Foster Brown reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jamie Foster Brown reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jamie Foster Brown describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jamie Foster Brown talks about her marriage and values

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jamie Foster Brown describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jamie Foster Brown shares a message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jamie Foster reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jamie Foster Brown reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Jamie Foster Brown narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
Jamie Foster Brown recalls her trip to Fairfield, Alabama, pt. 2
Jamie Foster Brown describes her interview with Bobby Brown
Transcript
Let me tell you, we, we're gone to the airport to pick up Kathleen Cleaver, who was traveling around--they were looking for Eldridge Cleaver and she was just traveling, so she was just decoying. So here we--now you know I'm not into the movement, I'm not list--I'm not really one of those people into the movement so I'm listening, we're in a car. We go pick her up and she's paranoid like, "Who are these people?" Now these--Willie Ricks [Mukasa Dada] who's from SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] is--knows her and he's the one hosting her and he's also the one hosting us. So he says you know he said, "Well these are students from Miles College [Fairfield, Alabama] and this is the Professor Brown [Lorenzo Brown] and all that." So they take us to this house, that's up in, in Birmingham [Alabama] up on a hill and its dark okay? We get to this house and we go inside and she sits the kids down, the students down in front of her fireplace and she's talking about the movement and the military, you know. I'm going, I'm in the bedroom, I see bullet holes and blood stains on the walls and stuff. I'm like how the hell I get here, you know and, and Lorenzo's friends are trying to hit on me while he's in there you know being educated by Kathleen Cleaver. On the way out I have a big afro and I'm skinny and I'm light skinned. Our car was parked half down the hill, her car was parked at the top of the hill. We get up and go get in our car, so there's two cars, there's another teacher you know--okay, two cars, two teachers, students. We go, I go get in my car and we're driving back to Atlanta [Georgia]--now from Atlanta to Birmingham. All of a sudden the, the teacher, the other teacher pulls his car over and Lorenzo pulls over too and he says, "We're being followed, we're being followed." Lorenzo says, "Yeah I know, just keep on going." I'm like, "Followed, what's going on (laughter)? Why are we being followed?" I get to his apartment and it's cold in this apartment. He's got blinds up, shades up that you could see in, but you can't see out. So people can look inside the house but you couldn't see outside the house, he had put 'em up backwards. I had to change clothes in the bathroom, it's just one room. Anyway I was so uncomfortable and I said, "Where am I sleeping?" And there's only one bed (laughter), I'm like, how, lord how did I get in this mess? Turns out that the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] follows me instead of Kathleen Cleaver thinking that I'm her, so when they realize that they followed the wrong person they thought was intentional and that I was the decoy. Well honey they were calling up the--my parents [Mamie Lee Harris Foster and Peter Foster], they were calling my sister, they were calling up friends of ours who were policemen, they called the school and everything. They wanted to have us front and center at Miles College that Monday you know. So when Lorenzo went in to, to school, they had the students, they had the other teacher there. The other teacher was, "Well what are we gonna do, what are we gonna do?" Their phones were tapped, his phones were tapped. It was so funny--they wanted me, and Lorenzo said, "Oh no, no you can't have her." They were listening to everything--that weekend they were listening. Lorenzo knew they were parked outside of his house and when he would call or talk to some of his friends he said, "Well Jamie's [HistoryMaker Jamie Foster Brown] down here," 'cause he had told everybody that he was in love with this girl named Jamie. Honey, he said, "You know the, the FBI's here and they're trying to follow us and wherever we go and, and they always lose us and just makes me lose confidence in my government." I mean he was irritated and he was egging them on and everything. They interviewed everybody, they wanted me, and he says, "No, she's my guest, I brought her here, I brought her down there, she wasn't a decoy. I'm not gonna let you talk to her, she hasn't done anything." In the meantime everybody's all upset. Only thing I'm thinking about is like daggone I'm down here and I'm not married (laughter), my parents are gonna kill me. Oh, my god how can I go back, and then the prin- my, my boss I knew he was gonna expect me that Monday and everybody's worried about that and the FBI and I'm worried about what my daddy gone say, okay, so. So I was pretty calm, I wasn't even involved with all this that was going on so Monday they took me to Lucius Pitts [Lucius Holsey Pitts, Sr.], he was the president of the college. Everybody says, "Oh, there she is, and she does African dancing and she's so cute and all that," and Lorenzo started looking at me like well maybe she's not so bad.$Who are some of the people that you profiled in there, and what was--$$T.I. (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And who stands out the most to you?$$Well actually Bobby Brown, and everybody said, "Why you love Bobby so much" because in all the years I have been in this business, and I've been in it since like '81 [1981], he's the only artist that ever showed, showed concern for other people. We sit in front of these artists two or three times a year, they never ask you, "How you doing? How's your business, can I help you out," anything like that. Bobby did, Bobby Brown did--when, when he was cutting up, got married to Whitney Houston and cutting up in the hotels and they were saying he was out with other women and they was in the tabloids every week and Whitney's supposed to be mad about this, that and the other. Bobby never--he never answered any of the media, any of the rumors nothing like that, and we had to increase the circulation of the magazine [Sister 2 Sister]. We had to make it four, four color; it was only black and white with one color. We had to put more hips on the magazine, make it bigger. Well that costs a lot of money. Where were we gonna get that money from, you know? And because we always paid our bills, our credit was like through the roof, very high, our, you know, we were able to, but we always paid our bills. So there was a black man at the printing company where we worked that said, "You all need better terms than what you are--you all pay every month. You can talk to them about you know deferring some of that cost." So he was the one who hipped us that. We went there, renegotiated our deal with them in terms of the terms and like it was gonna be fifty thousand dollars instead of twenty-five thousand dollars but they were only gonna charge us twenty thousand dollars a month, and then they would defer the thirty thousand you know. That's like giving us a thirty thousand loan every, every month. That's because we had great terms, great you know, my father--my husband [Lorenzo Brown] would say, "Look we can't pay this right now but let's--this is the payment plan." He would always go to them, they wouldn't have to chase him down, he would chase them down. "Look we're having problems right here getting our money in from the record labels or whatever." So they--with Bobby when we had to increase the magazine and increase the cost of the magazine my husband said, "Why don't you get Bobby Brown to give you a story." I said, "Bobby's not talking to anybody." He said, "It won't hurt to ask." When I asked Bobby said, "Will this help your business," and I said, "Yes." He says, "Okay." He had been offered six figures to just talk to any media and had said no. With me--?

Patricia Ann Lottier

Magazine publisher Patricia Lottier was born on February 18, 1948, to Ruth and Melvin Franklin. Lottier was delivered in Ironton, Ohio, because there were no African American doctors in her hometown of Ashland, Kentucky. One of a few African American students to attend Paul Blazer High School, Lottier excelled in her studies and was granted a full scholarship by Johns Hopkins University in 1966.

While attending Johns Hopkins, Lottier met and married George Lottier. Lottier graduated from nursing school in 1969, then went on to earn her B.S. degree in nursing from Western Connecticut State University in 1980, and her M.S. degree in public health administration from Emory University in 1984. After her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, Lottier worked with a sickle cell program with the DeKalb County Health Department and became the southeastern operations manager of the home-care division of Baxter International, a national provider of hospital and health supplies.

In 1986, Lottier’s husband helped publish the Atlanta Tribune; after the first two issues, Kermit Thomas relinquished the publication to the Lottiers. Within two years, Pat Lottier was able to triple the number of advertising pages. With her business sense, management skills, and some guidance from her in-laws (the publishers of the Afro American newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland), Lottier was able to turn the Atlanta Tribune into a magazine that has brought a positive light to outstanding African American businesses and their owners for over twenty years.

Lottier was honored in Who’s Who Among African Americans. Lottier was a member of the Coalitions of 100 Black Women, and the Emory University Public Health Advisory. Lottier lived in Roswell, Georgia with her husband George; the couple raised two sons, Christopher and Shawn.

Accession Number

A2007.012

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/16/2007

Last Name

Lottier

Maker Category
Middle Name

Ann

Organizations
Schools

Paul G Blazer High School

Booker T Washington High School

Coles Junior High School

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Western Connecticut State University

Emory University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Ironton

HM ID

LOT01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

Good Comes Back To Those Who Are Doing Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/18/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive Patricia Ann Lottier (1948 - ) was the publisher of the Atlanta Tribune.

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:2135,31:5523,100:8372,169:8680,174:9604,198:9989,204:10759,216:11991,221:16650,278:17080,284:21646,365:21942,370:22682,382:24162,411:24976,425:29403,466:30943,495:38489,642:42647,719:42955,724:54528,879:55046,887:57118,930:57636,938:63444,1011:64281,1022:65862,1041:66792,1052:67257,1058:68001,1067:77760,1264:78024,1269:78486,1278:79806,1316:81258,1340:84550,1349:85040,1362:85600,1371:86160,1380:87976,1390:88504,1399:89098,1413:89626,1422:90286,1435:91210,1451:91474,1456:91804,1463:92398,1474:92926,1483:93256,1489:100720,1584:102240,1613:102560,1618:106960,1701:113041,1789:113788,1817:114120,1822:114452,1827:120690,1877:122050,1902:127490,2026:129730,2079:133958,2122:134254,2127:137214,2188:138546,2215:139212,2226:142616,2311:142986,2317:146094,2386:146612,2395:148832,2436:149128,2441:149646,2450:151570,2481:163354,2617:163870,2624:164214,2629:167740,2705:168686,2720:171520,2727:177800,2800$0,0:588,8:1932,28:5544,86:5964,92:6468,99:7644,121:12454,161:13416,181:13712,186:14156,193:15562,220:16524,243:18818,295:19558,307:20890,334:23628,395:23924,400:24294,408:25996,434:26440,441:26736,446:31176,532:31546,538:31916,545:33396,581:33692,586:38620,598:40083,610:41460,622:42825,636:43350,642:45188,657:46189,673:50193,731:55891,852:56430,860:56815,866:57123,871:57585,879:63874,972:64158,977:64513,983:65649,1015:65933,1020:66288,1026:66643,1032:67282,1047:68844,1081:69199,1087:73388,1182:81040,1267:81360,1272:83920,1358:85440,1405:86080,1414:86640,1423:87120,1430:94721,1535:106738,1719:110610,1760:111000,1766:114120,1838:114588,1846:114978,1852:115680,1864:120450,1902:120775,1908:123505,1977:123765,1982:124415,2022:126625,2063:127145,2073:138062,2248:139292,2268:143554,2340:144690,2347
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Patricia Ann Lottier's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Patricia Ann Lottier lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her mother, Ruth Jennings Franklin

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her family's history in Ashland, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her grade school years at Booker T. Washington High School in Ashland, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her childhood community in Ashland, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her extracurricular activities in grade school and Miss Johnson, an influential music teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Patricia Ann Lottier recalls her experience at Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Patricia Ann Lottier recalls being recruited by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Patricia Ann Lottier recalls her time at Coles Junior High School and Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her memory of President John F. Kennedy's assassination and her family's political engagement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Patricia Ann Lottier recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her experience at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her nursing jobs after graduating from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Patricia Ann Lottier recalls life in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her studies at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut and moving around for her husband's job

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her admission to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about working for the DeKalb County Health Department in Georgia and for Baxter International

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes how she became the publisher of the Atlanta Tribune, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes how she became the publisher of the Atlanta Tribune, pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her role as publisher of the Atlanta Tribune, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her role as publisher of the Atlanta Tribune, pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her civic involvement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her husband's business ventures and how he became executive director of the Georgia Minority Survivor Development Council

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Patricia Ann Lottier continues to describe her civic engagement in the Atlanta, Georgia community

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Patricia Ann Lottier remembers celebrating milestones at the Atlanta Tribune, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Patricia Ann Lottier remembers celebrating milestones at the Atlanta Tribune, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about the future of the Atlanta Tribune, its distribution model, and its advertisers

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her family

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes how she hopes to positively impact young minorities with the Atlanta Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Patricia Ann Lottier talks about her art collection

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Patricia Ann Lottier describes the most significant event in her life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Patricia Ann Lottier shares her advice with future generations

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Patricia Ann Lottier reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Patricia Ann Lottier narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Patricia Ann Lottier describes how she became the publisher of the Atlanta Tribune, pt.2
Patricia Ann Lottier describes how she hopes to positively impact young minorities with the Atlanta Tribune
Transcript
And within, I don't know, two, three years--even Atlanta Journal Constitution came out to my little office, which is here in Roswell, and had interviews there. How can this person who knew nothing about newspapers, came from the North--'cause I'm not an Atlantan person--cover black people in Atlanta [Georgia]? It, it worked, you know. I had an editor who made sure nothing was misspelled, we made sure the pictures were clean and clear and pretty, and that the magazine was in places where people could see it. I can remember, back then, going non-stop, morning breakfast at Paschal's to meet people and give 'em copies of the Tribune, going to a lunch at the Hyatt giving out copies of the Atlanta Tribune, then that evening going to an Atlanta business meeting giving out copies of the magazine. And people said, "This is great; nobody else is doing this." The Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Atlanta--what was the evening paper; well, they were--one was Constitution, one was the Journal. They rarely put information in the newspapers about positive things that black businesspeople were doing; they had stuff, of course--you know, Maynard Jackson was the mayor, so they would put his stuff in every now and then, but the other businesspeople who were making a difference, they didn't cover it. TV stations only wanted to cover if someone were shooting somebody else; the positive things or the positive stories that black Atlantans were doing, nobody was thinking about putting it in print. We did; we became--and then there were--now, I must say, there were other newspapers in Atlanta at the same time; the Atlanta Daily World, I think it's almost what seventy-six, seventy-eight years old; it's always been around. They had--their, their--Alexis' [Alexis Scott, HM] father [W.A. Scott III] was very much into, let me do it my way, and it was a new day. People didn't understand about typesetting; I mean it was okay if lines went crooked or pictures were too dark, they accepted it; we didn't. We had some of the newest typesetting equipment, and it was really just on a computer at that time, to make sure lines were straight, photos were clear. I can remember calling the printer when I thought he made some of the pictures a little too dark. And he said to me, "Well, girlie, it's black people and their skin tones are different." I said, "If you want to keep our business, you will look at every page to make sure the picture we give you stays that color," and they did after I fussed and would scream over the phone--they did. So, we had good staff; we still have a good staff. So, that's what happened; that's how I inherited, quote, the Atlanta Tribune fell in my lap because Kermit Thomas said, "Huh, I give up; I'm going off to something else, another venture."$I had a call once--we did a piece on Vicki Palmer with Coca-Cola Enterprises, and the story talked about, she started in Tennessee, some things she did, how she made it, and three, four months later, I get an email from someone I hadn't heard from in, since I lived in Danbury, Connecticut, but somehow his daughter got a copy of the magazine in Tennessee and said, "Wow, if this young lady who came from my state can make it to be a senior vice president at Coca-Cola Enterprises, hey, I can do it, too. I don't have to settle for being just a teacher or a nurse." 'Cause when I came through the educational system, the choices for a black female; wear a white dress and white shoes and a white cap--to be a nurse; to say, "Yes, doctor, I'll do this, doctor." "Thank you, yes." Sit down, stand up when he comes in. Or to be a teacher, and there's nothing wrong with being a teacher, but those were the two options, you know; you couldn't be a principal, you couldn't talk about going to the moon, you couldn't talk about being president of a university. So now, everyone has these options and that's, I think, is what the Atlanta Tribune is also trying to tell young minority students, do what you do well, and don't set your sights very low. Your parents may have worked in somebody's kitchen--that's what my mother [Ruth Jennings Franklin] did. My father [Melvin Franklin], I think they said he finished only the eighth grade and just stopped; and his father, I said had all these eight houses; I don't know how they got the houses, but--now he did day labor, you know, go to the houses and, you know--no education, probably couldn't read a blueprint; probably couldn't, I'm sure he couldn't. Couldn't use a calculator, and--but if you say, "That's where they are, but if I do just a little bit more, I can get higher." As we grow as black people, our children keep moving up, and you just never know who you're touching, so I mean I kind of saved that email for a long time. And I also saved a voice message that Maynard Jackson left for me one day about how well one of my writers had interviewed him--saved it and saved it, and boy I said I should never delete it, but the phone system went down one day, and I lost it--I should of recorded it. But I think that's what we're trying to do to make a difference for our young people.

Kenard E. Gibbs

Businessman and producer Kenard Gibbs was born August 1, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. His parents were educators who both graduated from Mississippi’s Tougaloo College. Gibbs attended Our Lady of Hungary Elementary School and was a regular at the South Chicago YMCA. Gibbs was involved in the Links Unlimited Program when he graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1982. Links introduced him to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. At Williams, Gibbs was introduced to some the top business families in the country. He graduated with a B.A. in political economy in 1986.

Gibbs moved back to Chicago and was employed by Northern Trust Bank through 1990. From 1990 to 1994, he worked for Leo Burnett Advertising Agency, where he was mentored by Mike Hall. During this period Gibbs earned a master’s degree in marketing and finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. As a client service executive at Leo Burnett, Gibbs was involved in the development of advertising campaigns and retail advertising strategies for brands such as Marlboro, Miller Beer and Sealy Posturpedic. Meanwhile, he helped with Keith Clinkscales’ Urban Profiles magazine, and in 1993, started his career at Vibe magazine, a brainchild of Quincy Jones, as Midwest sales director. Gibbs left Vibe in 1998 to become an agency principal with TMP Worldwide, an executive-search firm (monster.com). He returned to Vibe in June of 2000 as president, where he was instrumental in the strategic positioning and growth of management and oversees the advertising, event marketing and public relations departments.

At Vibe, the leading urban music magazine in America, Gibbs spearheaded efforts to expand beyond the medium of print to wireless and broadcast. He served as executive producer for Weekend Vibe, a syndicated weekly television show produced by the Heritage Networks. He also served as executive producer for the inaugural Vibe Awards, a two-hour, prime time special on the UPN Network in 2004.

Gibbs lives with his wife and children in New York City.

Accession Number

A2004.161

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/14/2004

Last Name

Gibbs

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Our Lady of Hungary Elementary School

St. Ignatius College Preparatory School

Williams College

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Kenard

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

GIB04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/1/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Meatballs, Chitterlings, Cole Slaw

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive Kenard E. Gibbs (1964 - ) is the president of Vibe magazine. At 'Vibe', the leading urban music magazine in America, Gibbs spearheaded efforts to expand beyond the medium of print to wireless and broadcast.

Employment

Northern Trust Company

Leo Burnett Company, Inc.

Vibe Magazine

TMP Worldwide

Favorite Color

Orange

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenard Gibbs interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenard Gibbs's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenard Gibbs recalls his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenard Gibbs recalls his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenard Gibbs shares childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenard Gibbs describes his childhood community

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenard Gibbs recalls his early school years

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenard Gibbs describes South Chicago in the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenard Gibbs describes his education in Catholic schools

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenard Gibbs discusses Chicago gangs in the 1980s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenard Gibbs lists his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenard Gibbs remembers his mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenard Gibbs discusses '80s music and the beginnings of hip-hop

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenard Gibbs explains his decision to attend Williams College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenard Gibbs discusses his enjoyment of Williams College and lacrosse

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenard Gibbs recalls his privileged classmates at Williams College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenard Gibbs remembers his professors at Williams

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenard Gibbs reflects on the small black community at Williams College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenard Gibbs recalls his career after graduating college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenard Gibbs relates how he met his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenard Gibbs illustrates his graduate school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenard Gibbs discusses his mentor, Mike Hall

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenard Gibbs recalls how he started working for 'Vibe'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenard Gibbs compares Vibe to other African American periodicals

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenard Gibbs discusses 'Vibe' as a magazine of urban culture

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenard Gibbs illustrates entrepreneurship in hip hop culture

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenard Gibbs reflects on Vibe's efforts to link hip hop and issues that affect the community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenard Gibbs discusses hip hop and the culture associated with it

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenard Gibbs shares his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenard Gibbs discusses Vibe's efforts to encourage voter registration

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenard Gibbs discusses hip hop and material culture

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenard Gibbs reflects on his life and career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs at his junior prom, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1982

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs with his wife Karen, his daughter Taylor, and his son Ryan, Long Island, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs with schoolmates, Chicago, Illinois, 1982

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs with his son, Ryan

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs' daughter Taylor, son Ryan, and dog Sasha, New York, fall 2003

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs' grandfather Sam Ames, and grandmother Costella Ames, Newport, Rhode Island, ca. 1942

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs and his wife Karen, September 13, 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs with his daughter Taylor, August 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs, age three, Chicago, Illinois, August 1, 1967

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs with his mother, Annette Ames, and father, Solomon Eugene Gibbs, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs as a toddler, ca. 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs' father, Solomon Eugene Gibbs, and mother, Annette Ames, ca. 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs takes karate classes, Chicago, Illinois, 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Kenard Gibbs' father Solomon Eugene Gibbs, and mother Annette Ames, Columbus, Mississippi, 1956

John H. Johnson

John H. Johnson, widely regarded as the most influential African American publisher in American history, was born on January 19, 1918, in Arkansas City, Arkansas, to Leroy and Gertrude Johnson Williams. Growing up in Arkansas City, no high schools existed for black students, so Johnson repeated the eighth grade to continue his education. After moving to Chicago with his family shortly thereafter, Johnson attended DuSable High School, where he graduated with honors.

After graduating from high school, Johnson went to work for the Supreme Life Insurance Company while attending the University of Chicago. While with Supreme, he was given the job of compiling weekly news clippings for his boss, which eventually gave him the idea 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 founding. In 1951, Johnson Publishing expanded again, with the creation of Jet, the world’s largest African American news weekly magazine.

Johnson also expanded from magazine publishing into book publishing, and owned Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the largest black-owned cosmetics company in the world, Supreme Beauty Products, and produced television specials. Johnson also later became chairman and CEO of Supreme Life Insurance, where he had begun his career.

In addition to his business and publishing acumen, Johnson was highly involved at both community and the national level. In 1957, he accompanied then-Vice President Richard Nixon to nine African nations, and two years later, to Russia and Poland. President John F. Kennedy sent Johnson to the Ivory Coast in 1961 as Special Ambassador to the independence ceremonies taking place there, and President Johnson sent him to Kenya in 1963 for the same purpose. President Nixon later appointed him to the Commission for the Observance of the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations.

Johnson was also the recipient of numerous awards that spanned decades, from the Spingarn Medal to the Most Outstanding Black Publisher in History Award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Johnson Publishing has also been named the number one black business by Black Enterprise four times. In 1996, President Bill Clinton awarded Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He also received more than thirty honorary doctoral degrees from institutions across the country, and served as a board member or trustee of numerous businesses and philanthropic and cultural organizations.

Johnson’s wife, Eunice, and daughter, Linda Johnson-Rice, continue to retain full control of Johnson Publishing as the only two shareholders in the company.

Johnson passed away on August 8, 2005 at the age of 87.

Accession Number

A2004.231

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/11/2004 |and| 12/16/2004

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Arkansas City

HM ID

JOH19

Favorite Season

January

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Quote

Failure is a word I don’t accept.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/19/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peas (Black-Eyed)

Death Date

8/8/2005

Short Description

Magazine publishing chief executive and corporate chief executive John H. Johnson (1918 - 2005 ) is widely regarded as most influential African American publisher in history. Johnson's publications include Ebony and Jet. He is a Spingarn Medal winner. Johnson’s wife, Eunice, and daughter, Linda Johnson-Rice, continue to retain full control of Johnson Publishing as the only two shareholders in the company.

Favorite Color

Blue, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John H. Johnson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson shares his few memories of Arkansas City

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson recounts leaving Arkansas and arriving in Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson recalls his shame at being on welfare

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson discusses his high school activities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson remembers high school classmates Nat King Cole and Redd Foxx

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John H. Johnson explains why Phillips students were transferred to DuSable High School

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John H. Johnson recalls the people who influenced him as a teenager

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John H. Johnson mentions topics covered on his high school newspaper

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson details the background of black entrepreneur Harry H. Pace

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson discusses the merger creating Supreme Liberty Life Insurance

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson recalls his job as Earl Dickerson's driver on his aldermanic campaign

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson relates lessons learned from Supreme Liberty Life executives

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson compares Chicago politicians William Dawson and Earl Dickerson

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson explains why Harry H. Pace started passing for white

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson recounts how he started 'Negro Digest' magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson recalls Harry Pace's support for the idea of a 'Negro Digest'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson recalls quitting college to run Supreme Life's agent newspaper

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson details how he got the money to start 'Negro Digest'

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson considers the reasons for his success

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson recalls his courtship and marriage to Eunice Walker

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson explains how he got a wartime paper quota to publish 'Negro Digest'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson relates how he created a distribution system for 'Negro Digest'

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson remembers Eleanor Roosevelt's guest column for "Negro Digest"

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson describes his relationship with others in the black press

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson recalls hiring whites to train blacks who would replace them

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson recalls facing racial discrimination in buying business property

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson remembers launching Ebony magazine in 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson relates how he first sold major advertising in 'Ebony'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson recounts his success in placing his cosmetics line in major stores

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson recalls selling his cosmetics line to Neiman Marcus department stores

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson recounts buying out his competitor, 'Our World'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson relates how he attracted and retained a talented staff

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson remembers starting other magazines as times changed

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson talks about writers Lerone Bennett and Bob Johnson

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson discusses recruiting sales people from the Urban League

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson recalls selling subscriptions through churches

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson discusses his influence on the Harvard Business School advisory board

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John H. Johnson recounts his work toward Ebony's advertising and circulation success

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - John H. Johnson remembers Jet's Emmett Till cover

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - John H. Johnson talks about changing 'Ebony''s image and firing Ben Burns

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson recalls meetings with U.S. presidents Johnson and Nixon

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson remembers meeting Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson shares his pride in the Johnson Publishing Company building

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson discusses his friendship with Earl Graves

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson expresses his optimism for the future of the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson considers his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson remembers photographer Moneta Sleet and Dr. King's funeral

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson recalls Robert E. Johnson's work for 'Jet'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson discusses Lerone Bennett, Jr.'s books and articles for Johnson Publishing

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson recounts society editor Gerri Major's contributions to the development of 'Jet'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson talks about the book 'Black Society' by Gerri Major and Doris Saunders

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson describes Doris Saunders' role in developing Johnson Publishing Company's book division

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson remembers writer Hans J. Massaquoi

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson recalls Basil Phillips' contributions to JPC and explains the importance of multi-tasking

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson describes Isaac Sutton's photographic expertise and personality

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson discusses hiring Herb Temple, JPC art director

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson recounts attracting sales people Bill Grayson and Leroy Jeffries from other organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson details how he rented space at the Rockefeller Center in New York

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson recalls Bill Grayson's advertising expertise

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson recounts how John F. Kennedy got him Ford advertising

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson recalls forming an in-house legal department at Johnson Publishing

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson recalls Simeon Booker, the Washington office, and JPC's political neutrality

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson recounts opening his Los Angeles office

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson recalls hiring Lydia Davis Eady as a new Howard graduate

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson remembers a visit from Jackie Robinson

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson recounts Joe Louis' personal struggles

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson shares stories about Sammy Davis Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson tells about Diahann Carroll's marriage to Jet's Robert DeLeon

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - John H. Johnson remembers Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson shares anecdotes about Adam Clayton Powell

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson talks about his two children's adoptions and his son's death

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson discusses the Ebony Fashion Show

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson recalls his expansion into the international market

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson discusses his magazines' political neutrality

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson discusses using his broad-ranging business knowledge on corporate boards

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson recounts his forays into cable television

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson discusses his relationship to Mayor Richard J. Daley

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - John H. Johnson recalls his mentors Harry Pace and Earl Dickerson

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - John H. Johnson relates his mother's influence on his life

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - John H. Johnson describes the strength of his daughter and granddaughter

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - John H. Johnson discusses passing on Johnson Publishing Company to his daughter

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - John H. Johnson remembers working with Gordon Parks in 1948

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - John H. Johnson shares an anecdote about Muhammad Ali

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - John H. Johnson remembers Ray Charles

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - John H. Johnson shares his opinion of what makes a good publisher, businessman, and member of the black community

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
John H. Johnson recounts how he started 'Negro Digest' magazine
John H. Johnson remembers launching Ebony magazine in 1945
Transcript
So let's start talk about the start of 'Negro Digest' and how, you know, how you went about doing that. You said, you got the idea by basically doing those clippings [to keep his boss, Harry H. Pace, up to date with news in the black press].$$Yeah, people kept asking me, "How can I get it?" So I thought maybe it would be a good idea.$$Because you would--it's really because you were around telling people what, what the things you learned?$$Yes, that's right.$$You became an information source.$$That's right, that's right, that's correct. And so, so when I finally decided to, to, to try and put it out, nobody else thought it was a good idea but me (chuckle). And I didn't have any money. So the question was, what was the best way to get started? And so I thought maybe--see you have to understand that there had never been a successful commercial black magazine before. The only black magazines that were still going was 'The Crisis' with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and a magazine called 'Opportunity' of the Urban League. They were the only two magazines that blacks had. So I went to the bank thinking I could borrow--I wasn't trying to get much money because I had figured out I could--I needed $500.00 for, for postage. And I, I discussed my idea with Mr. Pace, and he said I could use some names at the [Supreme Liberty Life] insurance company cause one of my many duties was to run what they called the Speedomat machine, which was really an addressing machine. And, and they had, in the insurance business, you have people, you have what they industrial insurance where you collect every week, and then you have ordinary insurance where you pay every 6 months and once a year. And I told him about it. And he said, "Well, you know we've, we've got some good names," but he said, "don't, don't try to do, deal with the industrial 'cause those people don't have any money. Let's send, you can send letters to the Ordinary policyholders. And you can use the names. As a matter of fact," he said, "you, you're working in that section anyway. We'll supply you with the paper. You just got to get the money for the, for the stamps. So, and the other thing I learned from Mr. Pace was, I, I said, "Well, you know, I, I was thinking maybe I could--nobody knows me. I could set up an editorial board, and would you be on the board?" He said, "No, I wouldn't be on the board cause it's not a good idea." I said, "Well, I'm thinking about Mrs. Bethune, Mrs. Mary McCleod Bethune and Walter White." He said, "No. Walter, Mrs. Bethune and I have lived a long time. We've all made a great many enemies. You can't live that long without making enemies. And if you put, put it out with our names on it, there'll be people who won't think about what's in it. They'll just say, I don't like Pace. I don't like so and so. I don't like so and so. And they won't read it. On the other hand, if you put out a good magazine, then you don't need anybody's name on it." And so that taught me. And he said, "And don't have any partners." (laughter). And to this day, after 60 years, I have no partners. We, we--it's a private corporation. I, I've had people invest and all, but we, we've--I always remembered what Mr. Pace said, don't have partners, 'cause you have too many arguments. You can't make your own decisions.$Just so we understand, so 'Negro Digest' is doing well, and then you're not happ--you're always looking for opportunities at that point?$$Always trying to do better, always trying to do better, always trying to do better. Well, when I thought about 'Negro Digest' and I felt I needed to start a magazine like 'Ebony', I assumed, cause we were selling to a lot of soldiers, I figured we would--'Negro Digest' was a serious magazine. I thought when, when the war [World War Two] was over and the soldiers came home, they wanted some kind of entertainment, you know. They wanted to see cheesecake. They wanted to see something that was uplifting. So that's how we got the idea for starting 'Ebony.' And my wife [Eunice Walker Johnson] thought of the name. And the reason we named it 'Ebony' because when we--'Negro Digest', we never could get, what--what shall (unclear)--protection on the name cause the, the department in Washington says, and if, if the name is descriptive of the goods, you can't get protection. And so I had to think of something that meant black, but didn't say it. And so we thought of 'Ebony.' 'Ebony' meant black, but it didn't say black. And that's why we did 'Jet' [magazine], so we could get, get protection on both of, both names.$$Now, how did you, at that point, become aware that that was important, you know, getting protection on the name?$$Because they had denied it before (laughter).$$That's--okay, okay.$$See, I learned from experience. No, I, I tried to get it on, on 'Negro Digest,' and they wouldn't give it to me. So I thought if I start another magazine, I'm not going through that again.$$And so you were patterning it [Ebony] after 'Life' Magazine?$$Yes. Yes.$$You wanted a black 'Life.'$$But, and the reason here again, I was checking newsstands all the time to see what was selling. See, you know, my, my heart and soul was always in this business now. So I, I was never satisfied. I always wanted to do better. So I found that the biggest selling magazine on the newsstands in the black community was 'Life.' So I thought if black people were paying that much to--for white pictures, they would pay more for black pictures. So that's how we happened to do that.$$So what--so--tell, talk about the decision about when to launch it because you're still in the war, right? It's at the tail end--$$Well, I could not--yeah, but you have to understand this now--$$Okay.$$See, I had a paper quota, but I couldn't get any paper quota for a new magazine because here again, it was all based on what happened in 1941. So anyway, I was always wanting to do it, but I knew I couldn't do it until the war was over. So the minute the war over, paper was available, so that's when, that's how we started. See, the, the war was first over in Japan (sic, Europe). And then it had to be over in, in Europe. (sic, Japan) And so when the war was over, I was poised, and I had a printer and had ideas, a name for the magazine. So the minute the war over, paper was available.$$So how did you decided, like that first cover of the magazine, it has the kids on the front, right?$$Well, it--$$How did you decide--$$If, if I were doing it over again, I wouldn't do that picture [a photograph of seven boys, six white and one black, accompanying a story about black kids from New York who were taken to spend the summer with white families in Vermont] (laughter). But what happened was that it was unusual for white families to invite blacks to live in their homes. And, and in those days, blacks were anxious to be integrated. So that's why I did it. But if I were doing again, I wouldn't do it.$$Now, why would--why do you say that? What would you have done?$$Well, I guess, I shouldn't say that. I said, I guess I would still have to do it during that period, but since then, we've had Martin Luther King and we've had all kinds of advances, and, and I wouldn't--I would have been reluctant to do it.

Ruth Apilado

Publisher Ruth Mosselle Apilado was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 30, 1908. Her mother, Clara Mays, was a homemaker, and her father, Stewart Mays, was a postal worker. After graduating from McKinley High School in 1925, Apilado attended Chicago Teachers College, where she earned her teaching certificate in 1928.

After becoming a teacher, Apilado was hired by the Chicago public schools, and she worked as an elementary school teacher until 1973. During that time, she was exposed to the world of magazine publishing, having spent 1942 as the editor of the Negro Youth Photo Scripts Magazine (NYPS). Following her retirement from the Chicago public schools, Apilado returned to the publishing world, founding America’s Intercultural Magazine (AIM), in 1973. The magazine, published quarterly, was founded to help purge racism from society and to establish a scholarship fund for underprivileged youth.

Today, Apilado is an associate editor of AIM, and regularly contributes to the magazine. Her son, Myron Apilado, former vice president of minority affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle, serves as the editor and publisher. Her contributions to society have been documented as far back as the Chicago Tribune in 1940, and more recently in N’Digo magazine and People You Should Know with Harry Porterfield.

Accession Number

A2004.149

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/26/2004

Last Name

Apilado

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

McKinley High School

Brown School

Emerson School

Hayes School

Chicago State University

Northwestern University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ruth

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

API01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/30/1908

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Oatmeal

Short Description

Magazine editor and magazine publishing chief executive Ruth Apilado (1908 - ) was the founder and associate editor of of America’s Intercultural Magazine (AIM), with the goal of purging racism from society and as a scholarship fund for underprivileged youth.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Negro Youth Photo Scripts Magazine

America's Intercultural Magazine

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruth Apilado's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruth Apilado lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruth Apilado talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruth Apilado talks about her father and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruth Apilado talks about her father's profession and her relation to HistoryMaker Lutrelle Fleming "Lu" Palmer, II

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruth Apilado tells stories about her relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruth Apilado describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruth Apilado talks about the schools she attended in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ruth Apilado remembers her and her sister's childhood nickname

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ruth Apilado remembers her childhood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ruth Apilado talks about attending Hayes School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruth Apilado talks about her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruth Apilado describes her experience at McKinley High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruth Apilado recalls her experience with racial discrimination at McKinley High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruth Apilado talks about the Chicago Race Riot of 1919

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruth Apilado describes graduating from McKinley High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruth Apilado recalls the controversy over including her poem about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death in a school graduation program

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruth Apilado remembers being a substitute teacher in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruth Apilado describes her first teaching position and her friendship with a white teacher at Hayes School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ruth Apilado talks about her novel 'The Joneses'

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruth Apilado recalls attending writers' meetings at Alice Browning's house in Chicago, Illiniois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruth Apilado describes the founding of Negro Youth Photo-Script (NYPS) magazine and the writers she knew

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruth Apilado talks about the Chicago World's Fair in 1933

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruth Apilado recalls attending Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and contributing to African American publications

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruth Apilado describes creating America's Intercultural Magazine, AIM

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruth Apilado describes her visit to the South in the 1940s and her attempt to meet with U.S. Senator Theodore G. Bilbo in Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruth Apilado talks about her involvement in PUSH

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruth Apilado describes her plan to move to South America to avoid racial discrimination in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruth Apilado talks about the Civil Rights Movement and racial equality

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruth Apilado describes her son

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruth Apilado talks about her hopes for racial equality

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruth Apilado reflects upon her life and the state of U.S. politics

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruth Apilado describes letters she has written to people

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruth Apilado talks about the circulation of America's Intercultural Magazine (AIM)

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruth Apilado reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruth Apilado describes her novel, 'The Joneses'

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ruth Apilado describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ruth Apilado talks about her parents

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ruth Apilado gives advice to young people

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Ruth Apilado narrates her photographs