Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), the creators of Ebony and Jet magazines, is preparing to auction off Ebony’s 4 million photo archive valued at $46 million. Sale of the photos will help JPC settle its creditors, who include noted filmmaker George Lucas and his wife, finance expert Mellody Hobson; Hudson-Bay, Macy’s and former JPC CEO Desiree Rogers.
This past April, the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. JPC reportedly sold Ebony and Jet magazines to Clear View Group (CVG). Last month, CVG laid-off the editorial staff of Ebony after failing to meet its May payroll.
“While the process is now in the hands of a Chapter 7 Trustee, Johnson Publishing Company is grateful for its 77 years of existence, and the unwavering loyalty, dedication and commitment of its employees, vendors and customers,” the company said in a news release. “The incredible legacy and impact of Johnson Publishing Company will always be honored and hold a proud place in the African American experience.”
Johnson Publishing was created in 1942, with Ebony’s first issue arriving in 1945. Jet would follow in 1951. Extended business ventures included Fashion Fair cosmetics in 1973, which sparked a traveling runway show and more. The founder, John H. Johnson, passed away in 2005 due to heart failure.
Black Enterprise magazine reports that median Black wealth will plummet to zero by 2053, and it will not matter if you have a college education, a fat six-figure salary, or have a C-level suite with matching title from a major corporation.
The magazine report noted Black Americans are often still negatively impacted by a lower net worth than other communities. “If the economy is growing at 3%, you have to earn 6% to build wealth. Your income has to grow faster than the economy,” Jeff Wilson II, author of The Lies our Parents Were Sold and Told Us and principal at The W2 Group accounting firm, told Black Enterprise.
“Unfortunately, if you have massive amounts of student loan debt, your earnings will not grow faster than the debt burden that just kicked in.” The dismal statistics hit Black women even harder. According to Black Enterprise, single Black women ages 20-39 who hold a Bachelor’s degree, have a median net worth of -11,000 to $0 compared to White women in the same bracket whose net worth ranges from $3,400-$7,500.
Married Black women ages 20-39 with Bachelor’s degrees have a median net worth of -20,500 to $7,700 while married White women have a net worth range of $18,700 to $97,000. A wealth coach told the magazine Black Americans have to rethink how they accumulate wealth.
The expert said Black Americans must equip themselves with the knowledge to transform the income they make into wealth they can keep; that money has to start working for them if they want to build wealth.
Scherie Murray, a 38-year-old New York entrepreneur will try to unseat progressive Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 elections. Murray is one of several Republicans to declare their candidacy to take down the freshman legislator who has garnered many headlines since she’s been in office.
Murray announced her candidacy on Twitter, accusing the Ocasio-Cortez of seeking “celebrity and publicity” more than she helps her own constituents. “There’s a crisis in Queens and it’s called AOC,” Murray wrote in her tweet. She isn’t worried about us—she’s worried about being famous. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”
Murray, who immigrated from Jamaica as a child, will be making her third bid for public office. She ran unsuccessfully for the New York Assembly in 2015, and New York City Council in 2013 by 80-plus percent margins.
Ocasio-Cortez is seen as the new face of a more left-leaning shift in the Democratic party. She’s butted heads with many veteran party leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.