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Ebony Selling Photo Archive, The ‘African American Getty,’ Worth $40 Million

  • January 29, 2015

By Fiona Ortiz
CHICAGO, Jan 27 (Reuters) – A climate-controlled repository in Chicago binds 5 million images of what could be called a African American knowledge given 1942, including exceptional, insinuate photographs of polite rights personality Martin Luther King Jr., thespian Billie Holiday and fighter Muhammad Ali.
Now Johnson Publishing, primogenitor association of struggling Ebony and Jet magazines, is seeking a customer for a archive, that it estimates is value some-more than $40 million.
“Nothing exists like it. It’s roughly like an African American Getty,” Johnson Publishing Chief Executive Desiree Rogers told Reuters, referring to a eminent Getty Images photojournalism archive.
“We are still a curators of a African American experience. That’s a layer a editors wear,” she said.
Among archival experts who are advising Johnson in a hunt for a customer is Mark Lubell, executive executive of a International Center of Photography in New York.
Rogers would not criticism on intensity buyers or either blurb or chronological repository had voiced interest.
The association spent 18 months organizing a images though has digitized usually about 6,000 of a millions of photographs and videos, pronounced Rogers, President Barack Obama’s former White House amicable secretary. Johnson Publishing creates small income off a rights to a images, she said.
Facing disappearing readership and ad revenue, like most of a repository industry, Jet repository went digital-only final year. Ebony’s imitation and digital versions both went by costly redesigns in new years.
The repository includes a Pulitzer Prize-winning print by Moneta Sleet, Jr., of Coretta Scott King with her daughter Bernice on her lap, during a wake of her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sleet in 1969 became a initial African-American male to win a Pulitzer prize.
Over many years operative for Ebony, Sleet photographed King and his family and lonesome a polite rights transformation as good as black leaders and politicians such as Adam Clayton Powell, entertainers such as Stevie Wonder and sports greats.
The collection also includes many images of black business owners and professionals. (Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Will Dunham)

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