(Photo: Courtesy USPS)
Ebony and Jet founder John H. Johnson is being honored by the U.S. Postal Service during Black History Month with a new stamp. The publisher, who passed away in 2005, was responsible for ushering in a collection of titles catering solely to the African-American community.
He started the Johnson Publishing Company in 1951 after moving to Chicago with his family and securing a $500 loan by using his mother's furniture as collateral. The company grew to become the largest African-American-owned firm of its kind and Johnson appeared on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.
“He always told me that he had a mother who believed in him and that, even though they came from rural Arkansas, she knew that he was destined for greatness,” said Linda Johnson Rice, his daughter and the current chair of Johnson Publishing.
Johnson's Black heritage stamp joins other notable names such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., singer Ella Fitzgerald, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet Langston Hughes and baseball legend Jackie Robinson. His stamp, along with those of U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan and writer/artist Romare Bearden, were dedicated on Saturday at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. The stamps will be issued as Forever stamps, which hold the value of the current first-class mail rate stamps.
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