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Sat, 09.27.1947

Sepia Magazine Is Published

On this date in 1947, we celebrate the debut of Sepia Magazine.  This was a Black-owned photo and journalistic magazine similar to Life magazine.

Published in Fort Worth, TX, it featured articles based on the achievements of African America. The magazine, which made its debut under the name Negro Achievements, often wrote of the obstacles facing Blacks, from lynching and Ku Klux Klan marauding in its earlier publications to the later rise in violence among Blacks.

Sepia focused on various aspects of African American culture, including churches, civil rights, and education, from different viewpoints. With the objective of fostering leadership, the magazine also published articles on the development of Black institutions, including colleges and universities.

Sepia had a circulation of approximately 160,000 in 1983 when its publisher was Beatrice Pringle. In the early 1990s, it was not listed in reference sources about United States magazines. Sepia Magazine was also owned and published by George Levitan (who was not himself Black).

For many years, their research was being done for the investigative journalism book "Black Like Me," by John Howard Griffin, published in 1961.  It was Levitan’s idea for an article that became the book. The African American Museum in Dallas has the picture files of Sepia Magazine in its archives.

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