Statement By U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush On The Passing Of John H. Johnson

Aug 8, 2005
Press Release

Chicago, IL. ---- (August 8, 2005) - Words cannot express the deep sorrow I feel over the loss of John H. Johnson, who was more than just a publishing giant, he was a teacher.  Throughout his career, he educated our nation on the life experiences and accomplishments of African Americans in his magazines, Ebony and Jet.  For over 60 years, he told our stories of triumph and success that other media outlets often chose to ignore. By providing a voice for African Americans to tell their story, he was able to provide his readers with words, pictures and an archive of our history. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 I can still vividly remember the pictures Jet magazine published of Emmett Tills body in 1955. Back then as a young boy, I was horrified by the images as my mother shared the injustice surrounding his death.  In 2005, I realize the real horror would have been if Mr. Johnson had bowed down to racial pressure, and not published the photos.   

 Today, the African-American community lost one of the most dedicated and inspirational publishing pioneers of our time.  The legacy of Mr. Johnsons accomplishments will continue to live on as African American journalists and publishers continue to cover, uncover and discover the successes that exist in our culture.