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Thu, 11.01.1951

Jet Magazine is Published

1952 issue

*On this date in 1951, Jet Magazine was published.  This is a weekly magazine marketed to African American readers.

It was founded by John H. Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois. Johnson called his magazine Jet because, as he said in the first issue, "Everything is moving along faster in the world today. There is more news and far less time to read it." (The phrase "jet black" derives from a jet, a mineraloid.) Redd Foxx called the magazine "the Negro bible."  Jet became nationally known in 1955 with its graphic coverage of the murder of Emmett Till. Its ubiquity was enhanced by its continuing coverage of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.  

Initially billed as "The Weekly Negro News Magazine," Jet chronicled the Civil Rights Movement from its earliest years. Published in a small digest-sized format from its inception, Jet printed in all or mostly black-and-white until its December 27, 1999 issue. In 2009, Jet's publishing format was changed; it was published every week with a double issue published monthly.  Currently distributed in digital format, Jet's final print publication was June 23, 2014.  In 2016, Johnson Publishing sold Jet and its sister publication Ebony to private equity firm Clear View Group. The publishing company is now known as Ebony Media Corporation.   

In May 2014, the publication announced the print edition would be discontinued and switch to a digital format in June.  In June 2016, after 71 years, Jet and its sister publication Ebony (but not their photo archives) were sold by Johnson Publishing to Clear View Group for an undisclosed amount.  In 2019, Johnson Publishing filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy liquidation; it sold its historic Jet and Ebony photo archives to a consortium of foundations to be made available to the public.

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