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Building the Black MetropolisAfrican American Entrepreneurship in Chicago$
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Robert E. Weems and Jason P. Chambers

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041426

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041426.001.0001

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A Master Strategist

A Master Strategist

John H. Johnson and the Development of Chicago as a Center for Black Business Enterprise

(p.122) Chapter 6 A Master Strategist
Building the Black Metropolis

Jason P. Chambers

University of Illinois Press

John H. Johnson was a titan of 20th century business. Starting from humble beginnings, Johnson created two of the most successful magazines in American history (Ebony and Jet) and built a personal fortune made him one of the richest people in America. Yet the strategic decisions Johnson made that led to his successes is much less recognized. This chapter examines how Johnson made key strategic decisions and choices that enabled him to build the Johnson Publishing Company into a major media force. Additionally, it analyzes the choices Johnson made as he grappled with critics of his publishing tactics, other black publishers whose businesses competed with his own, and distributors who refused to carry his products regardless of the financial benefit to them for doing so.

Keywords:   John H. Johnson, Ebony, Jet, Earl Graves, Harry Pace, S.B Fuller, Ben Burns, Our World, Eunice Johnson, Fashion Fair Cosmetics

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