Tag: Jet Magazine

Chicago Cultural Center Features Exhibition on African American Designers that Explore Art, Commerce and Politics of Race

A selection of materials from Charles Dawson: an advertisement for Slick Black, O Sing a New Song, plus Together for Victory by an unknown designer. (Composite: James Prinz Photography, Chicago)

by  via theguardian.com

The first known African American female cartoonist was Jackie Ormes, who not only penned cartoon strips throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but designed a black doll called the Patty-Jo doll, which was released in 1947.

The Patty-Jo doll by Jackie Ormes. (Photograph: Courtesy of Nancy Goldstein)

Patty-Jo, a precursor to Barbie, which came in 1959, was based on a cartoon strip character of the same name, had an extensive wardrobe with preppy shoes, winter coats and ball gowns – and had the brains to go with it.

In a cartoon strip from 1948, Patty-Jo asks a white woman: “How’s about getting our rich Uncle Sam to put good public schools all over so we can be trained fit for any college?”

The doll is on view in a new exhibition in Chicago, African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Featuring more than 50 design works, it highlights prominent black figures who worked between 1900 and 1980 in graphic design, editorial and product design, billboard ads, and created the first black-founded ad agency.

The seeds of the exhibit were planted in the 1990s, when University of Illinois professor Victor Margolin started to explore a gap in the history of American design.

“Margolin was one of the first scholars who asked why there has been a lack of scholarship on African American designers,” said the exhibition curator Daniel Schulman. “He went into the field and interviewed 25 designers who were active from 1930s to 1980s, many of which are in the exhibit.”

With a focus exclusively on Chicago designers, it highlights artists who shaped the look of black publications like the Chicago Defender and the Johnson publishing house, founded in 1942 by African American business mogul John H. Johnson, which founded Jet and Ebony magazines alongside the now-defunct Black World, Ebony Man and Black Stars.

“Our thesis is that Chicago is a special center for design for African Americans because it was one of the major sites in the north they came to from the rural south in mid-20th century,” said Schulman. “It has a large, vibrant and politically powerful design community.”

Among the works in the exhibit is an original Patty-Jo doll designed and produced by Ormes, who was a cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Courier, though she lived in Chicago. The doll, in a yellow dress, was highly coveted by African American girls, though it was so expensive, parents had to pay in instalments.

“The doll was noteworthy for its quality. Its facial features were hand-painted and designed from life-like materials,” said Schulman. “It was a role model for any child.”

It ties into the cartoons Ormes built around the Patty-Jo character. “She was a beautiful fictional character who was known for making witty, astute remarks about the world around African American middle-class people in the 1940s and 1950s,” said Schulman. “The doll was in production for 10 years, it had an extraordinary presence and power, and today, they’re collectibles holding an importance place in American doll-making.”

Among the other designers in the exhibit, there are advertisements by Charles C. Dawson, who designed the graphics promoting Slick Black, black hair color tins from the 1930. Dawson was also part of the New Negro art movement, which surfaced around the same time as the Harlem Renaissance black arts movement in New York.

In 1971, the first African American-owned advertising agency was co-founded by Emmett McBain and Thomas J. Burrell. Burrell McBain Advertising boasted clients such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

“It was enormously important,” said Schulman. “It was one of first black-owned firms to land major national accounts like cigarette manufacturers and campaigns for companies that included African Americans in mainstream roles on TV and in magazines, which brought their image to a broader public. It was a new and powerful conception of black commercial, political and social power.”

A 1963 issue of Ebony, with Frederick Douglass on the cover. (Photograph: James Prinz Photography)

“Instead of having contemporary life portrayed with celebrities or ordinary people, this cover looks back on 100 years of the emancipation proclamation,” said Schulman. “It shows Ebony engaged with civil rights.”

Also on view is a comic called “Home Folks” by Jay Jackson, a cartoonist for the Chicago Defender who won several awards for his cartoons made during the second world war. A panel on view called Debt and Taxes shows one character complaining: “What do they mean ‘income tax’? It should be ‘outgo’ tax!”

“It’s a masterpiece,” said Schulman. “It shows young, middle-class African Americans in a wonderful mid-century modern interior talking about how expensive things are, the dream of prosperity that was commonplace as a selling technique in the 1950s, this mass consumer market and postwar prosperity. In popular media, you don’t always see African Americans taking part of a stream of plenty in the 1950s.”

But ambition aside, it was tough for African Americans to break into the advertising industry, not to mention navigating the office culture once they were there. “It’s really about working in a field with so few African Americans designers in it,” said Schulman. “There are images that show how frustrating it could be in such a tiny minority in this field – there is one image of Eugene Winslow in his office with commentary that shows he was unhappy being a supervisor of an all-white staff who did not appreciate having a black supervisor.”

Though this showcase of pre-digital design ends in the year 1980, it still is a triumph, especially considering many ephemeral pieces of graphic design from the past were lost.

“It’s not an encyclopedia, it’s an introduction,” said Schulman. “What we’re trying to demonstrate here is the lasting influence and effectiveness of the visual arts and design throughout the 20th century in Chicago.”

African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Raceis on display at the Chicago Cultural Center until March 3, 2019.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/nov/08/black-design-chicago-art-commerce-politics-race?CMP=share_btn_link

JET Magazine Launches New Digital App

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The African-American community collectively mourned when Johnson Publishing announced earlier this year that it would no longer print “JET Magazine”. Black Twitter exploded with grief over popular magazine features like the “Beauty of the Week” and “JET Weddings” when readers every where believed they’d never see their faces printed in the book. But no so fast! In a daring and exciting move forward, the JET Magazine Digital App is available right now for free download (in-app purchases and subscriptions available).

Chicago’s own Keke Palmer graces the cover of the new digital APP announcing her new talk show, “Just Keke,” airing on BET. The trusted pocket-sized mag is better than ever in a downloadable interactive app that features 360 degree views of your “JET Beauty of the Week”, audible playlists of the top songs of the week, and JET weddings lives on in the “Love” section, dedicated to both celebrity and real people love stories. The new interactive mag features long form investigations, celebrity features and interactive fashion features for the stylish person on the go.

Digital Editorial Director Kyra Kyles shares her hope for the future. “I am so very excited about this app launch, as I feel it will allow us to stretch the boundaries of storytelling and offer readers a very dynamic platform that reflects their interests. I’m honored to be part of carrying the JET legacy and trusted brand into the future of media.”

Ebony and JET Magazine have anchored the Black community for decades and their forward movement into the digital space shows the power of Black media in the ever changing digital landscape.

Download it here:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jet-digital/id883558819?ls=1&mt=8

article by Leigh Davenport via newsone.com

 

Jet Magazine Offers ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Scholarship To College Students

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Jet magazine has teamed up with NBC Universal’s movie The Best Man Holiday to present a scholarship awarded to five deserving college students.  The two partners have announced that they will be providing The Best Man Holiday Spring 2014 Scholarship – which has also received the sponsorship from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Jet is committed to the advancement of education for all individuals, especially those in the Black community, and I’m very excited that we have the opportunity to partner with NBC Universal to offer five students scholarship funds that may help further them toward earning a college degree,” said Jet magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Mitzi Miller in a statement.

“I love the first installment of The Best Man because it told a dynamic story of a group of diverse, adult friends who maintained a strong friendship since their years at college. What better way to celebrate such an inspiring narrative than to help a student finish college so they might one day enjoy that same experience.”  Students who are interested in applying should submit all materials by Tuesday, October 15 and winners will officially be announced in the November 25 issue of JET.

Visit JetMag.com for more information.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

Jordan Davis’ Parents Speak: Our Son Will Not Die In Vain

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As killer Michael Dunn, 45, prepares to face 1st-degree murder charges in September for the November 23, 2012 slaying of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, in an exclusive interview with Jet Magazine, the teen’s parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, share the difficulties in keeping their son’s story alive and how they’ve bonded with Trayvon Martin‘s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.

RELATED: Jordan Davis Killer’s Charges Upgraded To First-Degree Murder, Faces Life Without Parole

As previously reported by NewsOne, Davis was gunned down by Dunn at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida.  As previously reported by NewsOne, Dunn claims that he felt threatened by the teen — who was sitting inside of an SUV with friends — and loud music coming from the vehicle, so he shot inside of it 8 or 9 times before driving away leaving Davis to die in a friend’s arms.

None of the teens had weapons.

The fact that Dunn was carrying a legal concealed weapon, and is counting on Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law to justify his actions, has drawn attention to the racial implications of the law in a state where Black manhood is consistently criminalized.

Continue reading “Jordan Davis’ Parents Speak: Our Son Will Not Die In Vain”