Ebony magazine’s first issue launched November 1, 1945. It’s sister publication, Jet magazine, launched six years later.
Both brands became well-known for its articles on Black history, culture and entertainment.
In March, the brands relaunched in a digital format under a new CEO, Michelle Ghee, after the publications were purchased out of bankruptcy last year by former Los Angeles Laker Junior Bridgeman.
Ghee, originally from Oakland, CA, tells Inside the Issues she grew up reading the magazines and spearheading the relaunch is “an honor.”
“I wake up some mornings, I’m like, ‘Is this really my path? My opportunity?’”
Her vision for both Ebony and Jet is to be more than just a digital website. “We’re going to be an enterprise,” she explained, where “people can come and move products and services in a smart way.”
“We really are going to build this company for African Americans to get their arms around and the world to celebrate,” she continued.
Ebony has launched Women Up, an event to empower and uplift women with featuring speakers, networking opportunities and discussion around issues affecting women of color.
“The most overused word in America today is ‘culture.’ And yes, culture is sports and entertainment and news and fashion, and this community that I’m part of, that I’ve been born into, that I’m privileged to be a member of, creates a lot of that culture. So let’s take it back,” Ghee said. “Let’s create it but let’s also educate, grow and inform.”
Expect the magazines to include more than celebrity profiles. Ghee is passionate about including other inspirational and powerful figures like poet Amanda Gorman or African American executives like Rosalind Brewer, the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, or Thasunda Duckett, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
“If you’re informed then you run the world,” she said. “And if I can make it sexy, if I can make it stylish, if I can make it fun and engaging, if I can give you video content and snackable content, if I can just put someone other than a celebrity on the cover, then I’m winning.”
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