George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Fight to Save ‘Ebony’ and ‘Jet’ Magazines’ Historic Archives

Business titan Mellody Hobson and her husband, Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas, filed a court motion seeking control of the Ebony and Jet archives just weeks after the magazines’ former owner, Johnson Publishing Co. (JPC), filed for bankruptcy. According to The Wall Street Journal, the power couple is seeking to take control of the magazines’ archives, which contain thousands of historic photos and recordings of African American people, culture, and events.

JPC filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this month, putting the magazines’ collection of iconic footage, chronicling more than 70 years of African American life, in jeopardy. The archives include original photos of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his funeral, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Langston Hughes, and Maya Angelou. It also includes photos taken of Emmett Till’s 1955 funeral along with a host of images published during the civil rights movement.

Johnson Publishing

Mellody Hobson

According to The Journal, JPC used the archives, which had once been appraised at $ 40 million, as collateral for a $ 12 million loan that the company received from Capital Holdings V. The loan, however, has been in default for three years, leaving the archives uninsured. As a result, when JPC filed for bankruptcy, the company’s assets were placed in control of a court-appointed trustee.

Capital Holdings V, a company controlled by Hobson and Lucas, filed a motion Wednesday in Chicago federal Bankruptcy Court seeking to foreclose on the archives, citing the risk to their loan repayment and the iconic photo collection.

“We are dedicated to preserving and celebrating stories and storytellers around the world,” Capital Holdings said in a statement to The Journal. “The Johnson Publishing archives are an essential part of American history and have been critical in telling the extraordinary stories of African American culture for decades. We want to be sure the archives are protected for generations to come.”

Johnson Publishing

George Lucas (Wikimedia)

Founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson, JPC once represented the pinnacle of success for African Americans. Meanwhile, the company’s founder and publisher served as an inspirational force for generations of black entrepreneurs. However, the company took a hard financial blow during the digital revolution. According to a BE report:

According to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, JPC has between 200 and 999 creditors, as well as between $ 10 million and $ 50 million in both assets and liabilities. In making the announcement, the company said in a press release that it was “caught in a tidal wave of marketplace changes and business issues which, despite exhaustive efforts, could not be overcome.”

 

Over the years, financial troubles forced the firm to sell major assets. In 2016, the company sold Ebony and Jet magazines to Texas-based private equity firm CVG Group L.L.C., which still manages those media properties, and sold its headquarters in 2010. The company, which still owns the Fashion Fair cosmetics business as well as an expansive archive of about 4 million images and thousands of videos, will place those properties on the auction block.

 

The post George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Fight to Save ‘Ebony’ and ‘Jet’ Magazines’ Historic Archives appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Trump says people must get vaccinated amid historic year for measles cases

President Trump weighs in on measles outbreaks, saying vaccines are "important" and that people must get their shots.
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From BTS to Blackpink, a Historic Weekend for K-Pop

This weekend marks the first of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, but the bash isn’t the only music phenomenon on everyone’s mind. Korean pop artists are posting a banner week in their forge into the U.S. mainstream, with BTS breaking a YouTube record and performing on “SNL” and Blackpink scoring a first with […]

Variety

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Award-winning Filmmaker Tells the Stories of Black Businesses Through a Historic Lens

Oftentimes, when mainstream business success stories are told, the African American experience is overlooked despite the fact that black folks have been building businesses—as well institutions and communities—for decades in the face of racism, legal segregation, and systemic oppression. However, in a new film, award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson is shedding light on the historic achievements of African American entrepreneurs and the economic and societal impact that black businesses have made over the last century.

Nelson’s new documentary, Boss: The Black Experience in Business, chronicles the plight of black entrepreneurs since the end of slavery. It tells the untold story of African American entrepreneurship while highlighting legendary business leaders like Madam C.J. Walker and Motown legend Berry Gordy, as well as modern-day icons like Richelieu Dennis of SheaMoisture, billionaire Robert F. Smith, and venture capital investor Arlan Hamilton.

“African Americans have always been entrepreneurial. And wealth generation has always been connected to our empowerment,” wrote Nelson in a tweet promoting the film, which premieres on April 23 on PBS.

Nelson’s last documentary, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges & Universities, sparked a national conversation on social media about the legacy of HBCU’s following its premiered in 2017. “These schools have provided the foundation of black intellectual thought for 160 years,” Nelson told BLACK ENTERPRISE in 2017. “I’ve spent a career documenting key leaders and events in African American history but make no mistake, there would be no civil rights movement without HBCUs.”

Stanley Nelson - black business

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wikimedia Commons)

Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolutiona film that chronicles the rise and fall of the revolutionary Black Panther Party—also had a major cultural impact in 2015 and earned him an Emmy Award.

In 2000, he and his wife, award-winning writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith, founded Firelight Media to address the deficit of films made by and about people of color. The organization has since produced over 25 hours of primetime programming for public television and received several major broadcast awards, including the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Nelson, a three-time Primetime Emmy Award-winner, was also honored with the National Humanities Medal by President Barak Obama in 2013.

Boss: The Black Experience in Business is a Firelight Films production for THIRTEEN Productions L.L.C., in association with The HistoryMakers. It premieres Tuesday, April 23 on PBS at 7 pm CT/8pm ET. Watch the trailer below.



The post Award-winning Filmmaker Tells the Stories of Black Businesses Through a Historic Lens appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Algerian protesters win historic victory — but massive challenges remain

Algeria's longtime president has conceded to popular demands to abandon his re-election bid after three weeks of massive protests. But a giant question mark now hangs over what happens next.
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Why you should take a road trip on the historic Route 66

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Route 66 is known as “America’s Highway” as it connects Illinois with California. The route has been driven by millions of Americans and tourists, but what is so special about it? Is Route 66 just another road or is it as special as people make it seem? This is why you should take a road trip along Route 66.

It’s long

Getting from one end of Route 66 to the other is a big commitment. You’ll travel over 2400 miles, crossing into eight different states. That means you’re going to have a real adventure and that’s what life is all about. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Life is about the journey, not the destination,” and that couldn’t be truer on Route 66.

The road is fun

Unlike traveling a long journey on the interstate, you’ll find lots to keep you interested during this route. It is a well-trodden path that cuts through many small towns giving you an insight into life in rural America. You can just enjoy cruising along the open road, not worrying about what lane you’re in, just taking in the amazing sights. Make sure you stop off in some of the ghost towns abandoned by their residents years ago. It’s a great insight into recent history, and a cool opportunity to take some memorable pictures.

You’ll not go hungry!

One thing America is known for is it’s quality diners, and along Route 66 you’ll find your fair share of them. You can be safe in the knowledge that you’re never too far away from your next delicious burger, fries, and milkshake. There are plenty of vintage ‘50s-style diners to give you that authentic meal on the road experience. Just try not to stop at all of them or your trip will take you way longer than expected, and your pants definitely won’t fit by the end.

The attractions

There are so many fun roadside attractions to break up the journey. You’ll come across a giant rocking chair, the Whale of Catoosa, Cadillac Ranch, the WigWam Motel and the Mid Point Cafe. The Mid Point Cafe is a must, as you’ll know you’ve made it halfway and there’s still plenty of road in front of you. There are a bunch of fun gifts shops to stop at to find the perfect souvenir to remind you of your time on the road.

Amazing people

What makes experiences even better is having someone to share them with. The Route should be shared with a buddy, to at least to spread the driving load if nothing else. If you do make the journey solo, you won’t feel all that lonely. You’ll meet a bunch of fun characters along Route 66, all who are more than happy to share some of their stories about the famous road.

If you’ve been thinking about doing Route 66 then what are you waiting for? You’re going to have a great time experiencing America’s Highway, taking in the quirkiest, strangest, but most exciting road in the USA.

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The post Why you should take a road trip on the historic Route 66 appeared first on Worldation.

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Travel to the Hudson River Valley’s Historic Livingston Estates

Desmond Reich

When people think of the Hudson River Valley, generally a handful of properties pop up—Hyde Park, Kykuit, Vanderbilt Mansion, Olana, and maybe Lyndhurst. But one family had an outsize impact on the region’s culture, architecture, and legacy through the variety of estates built by them and others on their land—the Livingstons (one of New York’s versions of an aristocratic family).

Thus, with spring just around the corner (we promise!) Life Along the Hudson: The Historic Country Estates of the Livingston Family by Pieter Estersohn is this week’s selection for Just Booked (our twice-a-month series on gorgeous travel-related coffee table books).

Esterhorn’s photographs are beautiful—capturing each of these historic properties in, literally, their best light. Even ones that have definitely seen better days, like Staatsburgh, are shown in the glory they once commanded. Thirty-five properties in total are featured, enough for anybody to fall in love and add one to their dream Hudson River trip.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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MLK Historic Sites Closed Due to the Shutdown; Black America Suffers Its Impact

Today would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday. On this day, many flock to the Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was a pastor, and to King’s home—both of which are part of a national park in Atlanta honoring the late civil rights leader. However, both are closed today, due to the government shutdown. “’Because of a lapse in federal appropriations, this National Park facility is closed for the safety of visitors and park resources,’ said several signs on the landmarks run by the National Park Service,” reported the Philadelphia Tribune.

Bernice King, MLK’s youngest child, was reportedly upset about the closing.

“I feel a little bit of sadness because our main partner in this area, in this district, is the National Park Service … and they are not here with us today. I didn’t expect to cry over this,” she said according to the Philadelphia Tribune.

The current shutdown just made the dubious distinction of being the longest in the country’s history with the President and Democratic leaders at an impasse over funding for President Trump’s vision of a new wall on the southern border, a structure he says will curtail illegal immigration.

In addition to the closing of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, other national parks including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, remain shuttered as the shutdown enters its fourth week.

The shutdown is wreaking disastrous economic havoc for families of federal workers who have not received paychecks since it commenced. Black Americans, in particular, are feeling the enormous impact. In an essay for The Root, Jason Johnson writes:

Endemic discrimination in the private sector forces many African Americans to pursue middle-class dreams through working for the federal government. African Americans make up 18 percent of federal employees, and 21 percent of SES (Senior Executive Service) positions compared to being only 8 percent of executive board members across all fortune 500 companies in America.

 

This is especially the case in the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia area) where the bulk of employment is either directly or indirectly associated with the federal government. Everyone here knows all too well that Republican dog whistles about “lazy” federal employees have always been a proxy attack on black Americans in the same way the border wall is a symbolic attack on Latinos.

The Guardian reports that the shutdown is destabilizing the predominantly black Washington DC suburbs and Prince George’s County in Maryland. Those areas have among the highest numbers of middle-class blacks due to the numbers that work for the government.

From The Guardian:

“Around here people’s families work for the government, generationally,” said Kenneth Graves, a federal employee currently on furlough who grew up in Prince George’s.

 

“My mom works for the government. My dad worked for the government,” Graves said. “That’s what we always heard growing up – get a good government job.”

 

Graves, who is black, said he can probably sustain about another month of the shutdown before he depletes the last of his savings. A furloughed Federal Aviation Administration employee, Graves is currently looking for part-time work in hospitality to keep some income coming in, and stay occupied.

 

“We’re all just sitting at home or looking for a part-time position,” Graves said. “It’s really challenging.”

Black furloughed workers are trying to come up with ways to stay financially afloat. In Oxon Hill, Maryland, two sisters—both public sector employees have started selling cheesecakes as a way to bring in much-needed income, reports WJLA:

Two Maryland sisters who are both furloughed from their government jobs have launched a business selling cheesecakes to help pay the bills.

 

Nikki Howard, with the FDA, and sister Jaqi Wright, with DOJ, never imagined the government shutdown would lead them to start a business.

 

Each have husbands they say can’t work due to disabilities, and with bills such as college tuition for Nikki’s daughter piling up, they say they had to do something.

 

“It’s either cry or get up and do something, so we decided to get up and do something,” Nikki said.

Furloughed workers are scrambling to make ends meet. They are turning to food banks, launching GoFundMe campaigns, and some are even forced to ration their medication because they can’t afford the co-payments.

The post MLK Historic Sites Closed Due to the Shutdown; Black America Suffers Its Impact appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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After historic flyby, New Horizons probe treks deeper on hunt for moons

After studying a space rock some 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) from Earth, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft set off on a new hunt for moons in the solar system’s most distant edge, searching for clues on our solar family’s creation, scientists said on Thursday.


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China records historic first with moon landing

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Democrats take House, Republicans keep Senate in historic midterms

ABC News

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Election Day 2018: Historic contest for Americans, with Trump presidency at forefront

Americans vote in historic midterm elections Tuesday with control of the House and Senate at stake and seen as a referendum on President Trump.
ABC News: Top Stories

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Oprah backs Stacey Abrams in historic Georgia governor’s race

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey lent her star power on Thursday to Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is vying to become the first female black governor in the United States, while saying she has no political aspirations of her own.
Reuters: People News

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How Mike Espy’s Bid For A Historic Win in Mississippi May Deliver Democrats Control of U.S. Senate

As we all know by now, this year’s midterm elections have fulfilled the promise of being among the most turbulent. The hyper-partisanship, xenophobic rhetoric, race baiting, voter suppression – to name just a few elements—have exposed even more severe fissures in a deeply divided nation since Donald Trump captured the White House two years ago.The stakes are high for the next Election Day, on Nov. 6, as the Democrats seek to take Congress as a means of disrupting Trump’s agenda. To gain control, the Dems need to flip 23 House seats and assuming the party can hold on to its current position, win 2 U.S. Senate seats.

Given this scenario, the most consequential race may wind up being the special election in Mississippi, to replace Republican Thad Cochran, the former U.S. senator who resigned last March for health reasons. It may become the most historic as well: Alphonso Michael Espy, known as “Mike,” seeks to win that seat to become the first African American U.S. senator from the Magnolia State since Reconstruction. The 64-year-old politician has already twice achieved political milestones: In 1986, he was the first black Congressman elected to represent a district in Mississippi, after Jim Crow; and in 1993, he joined former president Bill Clinton’s cabinet as the first African American Agriculture Secretary. (Espy resigned from the post in 1994, following questions over his use of government perks and acceptance of gifts, and was indicted in 1997, for receiving improper gifts. In 1998, he was, however, acquitted of all charges.)

To emerge victorious, he has to beat the frontrunner, Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Trump-backed GOP incumbent who was appointed to the seat by Gov. Dewey Phillip Bryant. Other candidates in the race are attorney and talk show host Chris McDaniel. a Republican with neo-Confederate ties, and Tobey Bartee, an African American nonpartisan candidate.

How this race differs from the other congressional contests is that one of the candidates must receive more than 50% of all votes cast to win the Nov. 6 special election. If not, the top two vote getters – regardless of party affiliation – will have to face each other in the Nov. 27 runoff. Based on the polls, fundraising and electorate support, it appears likely in that case that the election would be between Espy and Hyde-Smith. In a recent, NBC News/Marist poll, Espy receives support from 29% of likely voters, Hyde-Smith gets 38%percent, McDaniel 15% and Bartee 2%. However, 15% of the electorate say they’re undecided.

BLACK ENTERPRISE Editor-In-Chief Derek T. Dingle recently gained an exclusive interview with Espy while he was on the hustings, discussing the current state of the race and his proposed formulas for victory. Here are edited excerpts from that interview:

This special election has garnered a great deal of national and international attention. Share with us your perspective on the significance of the race.

Well, it’s a significant race because everyone’s looking at it as an opportunity to pick up a seat for the Democratic Party. This race has been judged by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee as one of the top ten pick-up races in the nation. And they’re looking at it because everyone looks at the Doug Jones race in {Alabama last year] as sort of a model.

On paper. it seems our race is more critical than Alabama because we’ve got a larger black population — Mississippi’s  almost one-fourth or one-fifth black in pure population — but when it comes to voting age, we’ve got 13,000 more black registered voters than in Alabama. So that was before we started [our registration efforts].. We’ve done a pretty good job over the summer in registering black voters. So they did it in Alabama, and we believe that it is possible to do it in Mississippi.

We’ve witnessed voter suppression in Georgia this election cycle.. How do you ensure such activity does not undermine the black vote in Mississippi?

There’s some voter suppression here in Mississippi. There always has been, and we have to be knowledgeable that it exists right now. It’s not to the extent as we see in Georgia, but still there’s an attempt to suppress the vote. It comes in two ways. One is purging. So our state officials here in Mississippi are sending out voting notices and letters to those who have not voted in the last two election cycles. If they don’t come and re-register they’ll be purged. Now that doesn’t mean that they can’t vote.

So when they go to the voting polls on November 6th, there’s a high likelihood that if they received the letter and did not go and re-register, their name won’t show up. But they can file an affidavit ballot. Sometimes that’s very, very discouraging to a voter, and he or she might just give up. That may be the intended outcome of those who are doing this. So we are actively trying to encourage those who got the letters – some of them haven’t voted since Barack Obama’s re-election and they may be off the rolls. We are trying to alert them, give them the proper information and tell them that if they got the letter, they got to re-register. If not, don’t be disenchanted or disillusioned. Vote affidavit and that vote will be counted.

What is the other voter suppression tactic and how is your campaign addressing it?

The other is age-old voter identification. A lot of people in Mississippi, particularly the elderly, don’t have driver’s licenses so they’ve never had to show ID when they went to the polls before. So a lot of them might be discouraged that they don’t have that form of ID. We’re letting them know that even though they don’t have a driver’s license, you can register with a utility bill or any kind of proper identification that shows your picture and address. A lot of those will be taken. I’d rather access to the ballot would be free and unfettered without all these hassles and hindrances. That’s our hope. But right now we have to deal with it as it is like [Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Stacey Abrams is doing in Georgia.

How has your campaign engaged in outreach efforts to gain broad-based support?

Now, you cannot win with black votes alone. But someone like me with a history of being able to encourage white voters to vote for me, a lot of people see that as predicate for a victory. I was the first African American to ever win a congressional seat in Mississippi, in 1986; and I won with 85% of the black vote and 11% of the white vote. That district was not majority black back then. Then in 1992, I won with 95% of the black vote and 40% of the white vote. So the fact that I’m well-known, got 95% of the vote, served and filled the office before, I’m the most experienced person in the race irrespective of party, and everyone knows that I’ve got a history of reaching across the aisle to white voters, independents, and Republicans, all suggest that this is an opportunity to win. Lastly, this is a special election where there’s two strong Republicans on the ballot. So in that scenario, if the black vote comes out in record numbers, I believe there’s an opportunity to actually win without a runoff and even if there is a runoff, there’s still the possibility of a victory if the black vote comes out. That’s the answer.

So with this being a highly-contested race, possibly going to a runoff, what has been your campaign’s focus on financing? Where have you gained funding?

Our financing is actually doing very well. In the third quarter of this cycle, we’re beating the Republican incumbent and the challenger, almost both of them put together. Now we have to report every 15 days, so October 1st to October 15th, we’ve been number one in the state of Mississippi, in raising money. We’re raising almost $ 40,000 per day because people know that we have the momentum, the voters are swinging in our favor. We’ve seen many, many, many whites dedicating their support to our program. I’m going to say [we have raised] $ 2.3 million so far, and about 87% of that have come from donors at $ 100 and below.

We’re really, really proud of that. We don’t have a lot of high dollar donors. There is an incumbent in the race, someone who is governor-appointed so she’s getting a lot of that Republican PAC money, that corporate money, because she’s in that seat right now. But even though she’s there, we’re out-raising her because people are following my platform of making sure our rural hospitals stay open, making sure we receive Medicaid money, making sure there’s economic opportunities for everyone, making sure there’s educational access for everyone with no student debt…and everybody’s just responding to that.

Has the incendiary, divisive rhetoric in this election cycle served as a factor in gaining support?

I just shot right above all the noise and the chaos. People are tired of the dysfunction in Washington. They’re tired of the reality show and the mean-spirited tweeting. They want somebody who can bring everyone together…and serve everyone..

The post How Mike Espy’s Bid For A Historic Win in Mississippi May Deliver Democrats Control of U.S. Senate appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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REFILE-UPDATE 6-China, Japan to forge closer ties at ‘historic turning point’

China and Japan on Friday
pledged to forge closer ties as both countries stood together at
an “historic turning point”, signing a broad range of agreements
including a $ 30 billion currency swap pact, amid rising trade
tensions with Washington.


Reuters: Company News

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