Black History Magazine: Opportunity

Opportunity, A Journal of Negro Life, was published by the National Urban League from 1923-49. The first editor was Charles Johnson. In addition to essays on social and political issues, Opportunity had a strong emphasis on photography, art, and poetry. Early covers included artwork by Aaron Douglas, Winold Reiss, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Richard Bruce Nugent, […]

Black History Magazines: The Crisis

The Crisis was founded in 1910 by W.E.B. DuBois as the official publication of the NAACP. Within nine years it reached a circulation of 100,000. It was an important venue in its early days for African American authors, including Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Jessie Fauset. It also included powerful graphic covers by […]

Black History Magazines: Jet, 1960s

Jet magazine was founded in 1951 by John Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company. Published in Chicago, its original tagline was “The Weekly Negro News Magazine.” It printed in a small, digest-sized format with covers that featured black and white photographs and a single spot color. Art director Herbert Temple made the most of the […]

Black History Magazines: Jet, 1950s

Jet magazine was founded in 1951 by John Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company. Published in Chicago, its tagline was “The Weekly Negro News Magazine.” It printed in a small, digest-sized format with covers that featured black and white photographs and a single spot color. Art director Herbert Temple made the most of the limited […]

Duke: The First Black Men’s Pinup Magazine

Duke was the first black men’s pinup magazine, launched in 1957. It was based on the editorial format pioneered by Playboy, and like that magazine was also published in Chicago. It featured fiction, interviews, fashion, racy cartoons, and of course, a pin-up centerfold. Notable writers published in Duke included Chester Himes, Langston Hughes, and George […]

The Baddest Covers of All Time: The Black Panther Newspaper

The Black Panther was a weekly newspaper published by the Black Panther Party from 1967-80. Art directed by Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture Emory Douglas, The Black Panther covers were a combination of Douglas’s own powerful illustration, collage, high-contrast photographs, and poster-like graphics. Bold and provocative, each cover was an incendiary call to action […]

The Covers of Jet Magazine, 1960s

Jet magazine was a digest-sized weekly published by Johnson Publishing. Herbert Temple was Jet‘s longtime art director. Throughout the 1960s Jet continued its use of black and white cover photos and a single bright color on the cover, combined with Temple’s use of bold graphic background shapes. Although Jet always had a healthy dose of […]

Feb 12, 2013
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The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races

The past month I’ve been researching vintage African American magazines for a series of posts on my Facebook and Tumblr pages as part of Black History Month. One recent collection was a set of covers from The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP, founded in 1910 by W.E.B. DuBois. The Crisis was a remarkable […]