Rescuing the Ebony & Jet Photography Archives: How Alumnus George Fatheree Helped Preserve an African American Legacy

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 12:00pm to 1:00pm

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In July 2019, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP partner and Loyola alumnus George C. Fatheree ’07 had 72 hours to put together a bid for his client to acquire the Johnson Publishing Company, the Chicago-based company behind Ebony and Jet magazines and the famed chronicler of Black American life that commissioned some of the most important and iconic images in Black American history.

This visual archive of 20th century Black America was almost lost to the public forever following the bankruptcy of Johnson Publishing Company. Fatheree and his team were tasked with securing the trove of more than four million images and 10,000 hours of video and audio recordings that span over eight decades of the Black experience in America.

Fatheree will discuss how the sale came together, the legal matters that came into play, and what the transaction meant to him personally. Ebony and Jet magazine helped shape the nation’s history, allowing Americans—of all colors—to see the full panorama of the African American experience. The acquisition of the collection by a consortium of foundations will help ensure that these images, stories, and the history of these publications are well-preserved and available to the public and future generations

  • Nicki Robbins
  • Magaela Bethune
  • Kim Harris
  • Sara Ferguson

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