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John H. Johnson Day event going online

by Special to The Commercial | October 29, 2020 at 2:50 a.m.
John H. Johnson

The second annual John H. Johnson Day will be held virtually to honor the late Johnson, the Arkansas City native and Ebony founder. The ceremony will be held from 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, according to a news release.

The virtual observance is free and can be accessed at or Zoom at:

The John H. Johnson official holiday was established April 16, 2019, during the 92nd General Assembly, according to the release.

Johnson published Ebony and Jet magazines, and was the founder, publisher, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing Co., once known as the largest Black-owned publishing company in the world, according to the release.

The virtual observance, in his words and in the words of those who knew him, will discuss Johnson's legacy with two former employees. They are Lynn Norment, former editor, senior writer, and photography producer for Ebony, and Roy Betts, a former assistant editor and White House correspondent for Ebony and Jet magazines.

A pre-recorded video message from Johnson's daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, will be shown during the virtual observance.

Friends of the John H. Johnson Museum, organizers of John H. Johnson Day, will recognize four individuals who embody the spirit of Johnson through their work: Norment and Betts will receive the John H. Johnson Journalism and Media Award; Jimmy Cunningham will receive the John H. Johnson Business and Entrepreneur Award; and Mary E. Benjamin will receive the John H. Johnson Humanitarian Award.

Johnson was born in Arkansas City in 1918. His mother moved the family to Chicago after Johnson finished the eighth grade. He was the recipient of more than 30 honorary doctorate degrees including honors from the Carnegie Mellon University, Eastern Michigan University, Harvard University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Southern California and Wayne State University.



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