Online Petition Launched to Stop the Sale of Johnson Publishing Co.’s Photo Archive

An online petition drive has been launched to stop Johnson Publishing Co. from selling its photo archive.

An online petition drive has been launched to stop Johnson Publishing Co. from selling its photo archives.

Change.org has launched an online petition drive to stop Johnson Publishing Co. from selling its photo archives.

“This petition was created after learning about Johnson Publishing Company’s intent to sell its 5 million images in its African-American photo library that spans over 70 years for $40 million, which equates to $8 per image,” the petition said.

The Chicago-based publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines announced in January that it is selling the photo archive to raise needed funds. The shopping of the photo archive follows JPC selling its headquarters in Chicago to nearby Columbia College in 2010 for an undisclosed price to pay bills. The building, which had been John H. Johnson’s pride and joy, reportedly remains empty.  Mr. Johnson founded Ebony and Jet magazines. He  died on August 8, 2005.

The sale’s opponents said the photo archive includes iconic images of black celebrities, leaders and everyday black people, including photographs of Coretta Scott King with one of her daughters at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Moneta Sleet Jr. won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for the picture.

The photos of African Americans were often ignored by the mainstream media, the petition added.

The petition drive is small. Recently, only 70 people signed up to the stop the sales of the photos. People are being urged to contact Johnson Publishing by email or by calling 312-322-9200.

One Comment

  1. Leon Phillips,II says:

    In 1967 I worked for a company called Opportunity Service Co.as a door to door salesman. This was the molding of my life and I think this gives me the right to have an oppoinion about this sale. Today we have enough whealty in the African American community so we don’t have to give away our History, why aren’t you looking for a buyer in that market. Remember this is the only way we can keep our History in the handsof those who would be willing to preserve this History. I hope GOD will be the guiding force in the decision you have to make.

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