Publishing

Louis E. Lomax

Louis E. Lomax

Louis E. Lomax

Born in Valdosta, Georgia. Educated at Paine College in Augusta, graduating in 1942, and later at American University (M.A., 1944), and Yale (Ph.D., 1947). Taught philosophy briefly at Georgia State College in Savannah.

Worked as a newspaper reporter, for Baltimore Afro-American and Chicago American, until 1958; later a freelance magazine journalist and author of books including The Reluctant African (1960), The Negro Revolt (1962), When the Word Is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Black Muslim World(1963), Thailand: The War That Is, The War That Will Be (1967), and To Kill a Black Man (1968).

In 1959, with Mike Wallace, interviewed Malcolm X for documentary on Nation of Islam, The Hate That Hate Produced. From 1964 to 1968 hosted twice-weekly Los Angeles television show on KTTV; lectured widely on college campuses. Died in automobile accident near Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Ebony Magazine

The first issue of Ebony magazine, Nov. 1, 1945.

The first issue of Ebony magazine, Nov. 1, 1945.

On Nov. 1, 1945, America got its first look at Ebony, a monthly coffee-table magazine modeled after Look andLife but whose goals were to focus on the achievements of blacks from “Harlem to Hollywood� and to “offer positive images of blacks in a world of negative images.�

Founded by publisher John H. Johnson, Ebony’s first cover ironically did not feature a glamorous black entertainer or an African-American “first� but seven boys — six of them white — from a program to improve race relations. The first issue sold out at 25, 000 copies. Circulation peaked at nearly 2 million in 1997.

In addition to the fashion and beauty stories that continue to be Ebony mainstays, the magazine also tackled civil rights, education and black entrepreneurship, stories important to the black community that mainstream publications often ignored.

Through the lens of longtime Ebony photographer Moneta Sleet who died in 1996, Ebonywas at the forefront of some of the most important stories in history.  Continue reading

William Alexander Scott II

William Alexander Scott II

William Alexander Scott II came to Atlanta to receive an education and ended up, at the tender age of 26, founding a newspaper that would become the first successful African-American daily in the nation. The son of a minister, Scott did not allow the presence of another Black newspaper, The Atlanta Independent, to deter him from starting the Atlanta World on Aug. 5, 1928.

The publishers of the Atlanta World have felt the need of a Southern Negro Newspaper, published by Southern Negroes, to be read by Southern Negroes, Scott wrote in the first issue. By 1930, the newspaper was one of the most widely circulated Black papers in the South. Using the Atlanta World as fuel, Scott charged ahead, establishing the first chain of African-American newspapers in 1931. The Scott Newspaper Syndicate eventually would include 50 newspapers. On March 12, 1932, Scott achieved another goal when the Atlanta World went daily.  Continue reading

Robert H. Sengstacke

Robert H. Sengstacke

Sengstacke was born November 25, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia. He was singled out by his uncle, Robert S. Abbott, publisher of The Chicago Defender, and trained as his successor. Abbott financed his nephew’s education at Hampton Institute, where he graduated in 1934.

Abbott also subsidized his studies at the Mergenthaler Linotype School, The Chicago School of Printing, Northwestern University, and Ohio State University. In 1934 Sengstacke became Vice President and General Manager of The Robert S. Abbott Publishing Company, and served as its president, following Robert S. Abbott’s death in 1940.  Continue reading

Amsterdam News

The Amsterdam News was started on December 4, 1909, by James H. Anderson. The paper began production with an initial capital only $10. Being located in the center of Harlem, The Amsterdam News spoke for the largest black population in the nation. The paper placed an emphasis on reporting black society news, such as weddings. At one time it had a circulation of more than 100,000 subscribers. During the 1940’s The Amsterdam News was one of the four leading newspapers in the nation.  Continue reading

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