Ebony Jr! A Culturally Significant Magazine For Black Children
Trailblazer John H Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company created Ebony Jr! in 1973 to give Black children a magazine that was all their own. The magazine featured stories, comics, puzzles, and cartoons centering Black children. Its contents combined elements of Black culture, Black history, and elementary curriculum in an effort to ignite a love of reading and a love of self in Black children.
"At his new $8‐million, 11‐story headquarters in Chicago, John H. Johnson, the multi‐millionaire black publisher, said that the success of such a major children's publication, as Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, High Light and Children's Digest had, in part, inspired him to think about a publication devoted exclusively to the needs and aspirations of black children. These publications, he said, “will occasionally have a black face or story with blacks in it, but they really do not deal with the black child.” (quoted from a must read May 1973 New York Times article about the launch of Ebony Jr.)
This culturally significant publication had a huge impact on a generation of young Black readers. Ebony Jr! went out of print in 1985, but many of the issues can still be read online. We've curated a list here: EBONY JR!
Here are some of the cool covers from Johnson Publishing Company