Somewhat lost in the news of ABC news anchor Peter Jennings' passing is the more significant (for the south side nation) passing of John H. Johnson, founder of Johnson Publishing Co. in Chicago (pictured here with his wife Eunice and his daughter Linda Johnson Rice), the company that publishes south side magazine staples Ebony and Jet. Personally, these magazines have shaped a lot of my experiences from my biddy bop days to the world renown that I now enjoy. Every relative in my family, as well as all my south side family and friends always had a copy of Ebony, Jet or both fanned across their coffee tables and they were always topics of fun conversations - Dang Tina's looking good!, Dang, Diane Carroll is looking good!, Dang, George Clinton's doo looks jacked up! Dang, Whitney's looking cracked out these days! Through every era of my life Ebony and Jet were there breaking down actual factuals that were relevant to my culture and social circle. They were two islands in a sea of mainstream (aka non urban) magazines for the longest and though we cracked on the quality sometimes, we never lost respect for them and honor the fond affection they have in the south side nation. All that from $500 and a dream...
The show must go on and Ebony and Jet will keep doing their thing and spurring new generations of crack backs, Dang, I can't lift this issue with Mo'nique on the cover off the coffee table!, Dang, where's Babyface been? Dang, why does Toni Braxton look like she needs a laxitive? Dang, you know that baby Holly Robinson Peete is holding don't look a thing like Rodney... We can thank John Johnson for all that in-good-fun jibber-jabber and look to his daughter Linda to keep the legacy moving and grooving.
Big ups, JJ! My undying gratitude and thanks for your vision, my brother. Rest in peace.