The sale of the photo archive of Ebony and Jet magazines chronicling African American history is generating relief among some who worried the historic images may be lost.
But it’s also causing some to mourn since the images, including photos of Emmett Till in 1955 after he was killed and ones documenting the rise of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., won’t fully be in the hands an African American-owned entity. Ebony and Jet, for more than half a century, stood as the epitome of black-owned business.
“You have to do what you have to do,” Roy Douglas Malonson, publisher of the Houston-based African American News & Issues newspaper, said. “But it’s sad because we lose control forever.”
The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation, The J. Paul Getty Trust and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are buying the archive for $30 million as part of an auction to pay off secured creditors of Johnson Publishing Company.