John H. Johnson Leaves Legacy at Howard PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joi Gilliam - Black College Wire   
Wednesday, 10 August 2005

In the next year, Howard University officials expect to break ground on a new John H. Johnson School of Communications, the only building in the nation named in honor of the pioneering publisher who died Aug. 8 at age 87.

graves259831.jpg
Photo credit: Roger Roman
Earl Graves of Black Enterprise magazine, a Howard University trustee, praises honoree John H. Johnson, left, at the 2003 Howard convocation.

In January 2003, the founder of Ebony and Jet magazines donated $4 million to assist in the new school's construction. That September, the current School of Communications was named in his honor.

Earl Graves Sr., publisher of Black Enterprise magazine and a member of Howard's board of trustees, said he and president H. Patrick Swygert approached Johnson for a contribution and a proposal for the School of Communications to carry his name, but "my sense is he would have done it whether they named the school after him or not," he said on National Public Radio's "News and Notes" with Ed Gordon.

Jannette L. Dates, dean of the School of Communications, said it had not been determined how Johnson's donation would be spent. "The funds that were given to us were for use in various ways. We haven't exactly focused on how its going to be allocated," she said.

Dates said there had also been donations from news organizations such as Fox News and Cox Newspapers, and from individuals such as Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer, who donated $100,000. "There have been various organizations who have donated for naming spaces in the new building," she said.

Students expressed their appreciation for Johnson's achievements after hearing of his death.

"John H. Johnson has always been one of my role models. To be a student in the John H. Johnson School of Communications is even a bigger honor for me," said Candace Jones, a senior public relations major and a Chicago native.

"Living in Chicago, I knew that Ebony and Jet magazines did for black people what the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune failed to do, which was embrace our culture that had a tremendous effect on the city."

Johnson, born in Arkansas City, Ark., moved to Chicago at 15 to get a better education. Although he graduated from high school in 1936 and attended the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, all of his degrees are honorary, including a doctor of humane letters from Howard.

Before Ebony, Johnson published Negro Digest, which eventually sold 50,000 copies a month and was later renamed Black World. That publication was discontinued in 1976.

In 1951, Johnson founded Jet, a pocket-sized newsweekly. When Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicagoan visiting relatives in Mississippi, was brutally murdered by whites in 1955, Johnson chose to publish an open- casket picture of Till's badly beaten body in Jet.

Though it was graphic, many commended Johnson for putting a face to the brutalities and injustices toward black people during that period.

"Most people thought of black people as savages and uneducated people. Through Jet and Ebony and Mr. Johnson, black culture was able to be showcased in a positive light," said Howard student Ruth L. Tisdale. Tisdale is editor-in-chief of Howard's student newspaper, The Hilltop.

"He gave inspiration to other black journalists and publishers to have a successful career in journalism and communications," she added.

Tisdale was present at the 2003 Charter Day when the School of Communications was renamed. "He will not only be remembered for his contribution to our school but his words of encouragement at Charter Day 2003," she said.

Juliet Beverly, a senior print journalism major at Howard, noted Johnson's role in seeking equality for blacks in the press.

"He gives a lot of journalism students a lot to aspire to, that yes, you, too, can make it. He set the standard for African American journalism," she said.

Joi Gilliam is a senior at Howard University.

Posted Aug. 10, 2005

 
< Prev   Next >
20 queries executed
1
SET sql_mode = 'MYSQL40'
2 SELECT folder, element, published, params FROM jos_mambots WHERE published >= 1 AND access <= 0 AND folder = 'system' ORDER BY ordering
3 SELECT template FROM jos_templates_menu WHERE client_id = 0 AND ( menuid = 0 OR menuid = 99999999 ) ORDER BY menuid DESC LIMIT 1
4 DELETE FROM jos_session WHERE ( ( time < '1419143715' ) AND guest = 0 AND gid > 0 ) OR ( ( time < '1419143715' ) AND guest = 1 AND userid = 0 )
5 SELECT * FROM jos_menu WHERE published = 1 AND link LIKE 'index.php?option=com_content&task=view%'
6 SELECT a.*, u.name AS author, u.usertype, cc.name AS category, s.name AS section, g.name AS groups, s.published AS sec_pub, cc.published AS cat_pub, s.access AS sec_access, cc.access AS cat_access, s.id AS sec_id, cc.id as cat_id FROM jos_content AS a LEFT JOIN jos_categories AS cc ON cc.id = a.catid LEFT JOIN jos_sections AS s ON s.id = cc.section AND s.scope = 'content' LEFT JOIN jos_users AS u ON u.id = a.created_by LEFT JOIN jos_groups AS g ON a.access = g.id WHERE a.id = 4693 AND ( a.state = 1 OR a.state = -1 ) AND ( a.publish_up = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_up <= '2014-12-20 23:50' ) AND ( a.publish_down = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_down >= '2014-12-20 23:50' ) AND a.access <= 0
7 SELECT a.id FROM jos_content AS a WHERE a.catid = 16 AND a.state = -1 AND a.access <= 0 AND ( a.state = 1 OR a.state = -1 ) AND ( a.publish_up = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_up <= '2014-12-20 23:50' ) AND ( a.publish_down = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_down >= '2014-12-20 23:50' ) ORDER BY a.ordering
8 UPDATE jos_content SET hits = ( hits + 1 ) WHERE id = '4693'
9 SELECT folder, element, published, params FROM jos_mambots WHERE access <= 0 AND folder = 'content' ORDER BY ordering
10 SELECT params FROM jos_mambots WHERE element = 'mosimage' AND folder = 'content'
11 SELECT a.* FROM jos_components AS a WHERE ( a.admin_menu_link = 'option=com_syndicate' OR a.admin_menu_link = 'option=com_syndicate&hidemainmenu=1' ) AND a.option = 'com_syndicate'
12 SELECT id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, params FROM jos_modules AS m INNER JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid = m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id != 1 AND ( mm.menuid = 0 OR mm.menuid = 99999999 ) ORDER BY ordering
13 SELECT m.* FROM jos_menu AS m WHERE menutype = 'mainmenu' AND published = 1 AND access <= 0 AND parent = 0 ORDER BY ordering
14 SELECT COUNT( id ) FROM jos_menu WHERE type = 'content_typed' AND published = 1
15 SELECT id FROM jos_menu WHERE type = 'content_typed' AND published = 1 AND link = 'index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1086'
16 SELECT id FROM jos_menu WHERE link = 'index.php?option=com_search' AND published = 1
17 SELECT * FROM jos_dssyndicate_feeds WHERE published = 1 ORDER BY feed_name
18 SELECT * FROM jos_banner WHERE showBanner=1
19 SELECT m.* FROM jos_menu AS m WHERE menutype = 'othermenu' AND published = 1 AND access <= 0 AND parent = 0 ORDER BY ordering
20 SELECT params FROM jos_mambots WHERE element = 'mosemailcloak' AND folder = 'content'