From its launch in 1945, Ebony magazine was politically and socially influential. However, the magazine also played an important role in educating millions of African Americans about their past. Guided by the pen of Lerone Bennett Jr., the magazine’s senior editor and in-house historian Ebony became a key voice in the popular black history revival that flourished after World War II. Its content helped push representations of the African American past from the margins to the center of the nation’s cultural and political imagination.
This fresh and fascinating exploration of Ebony’s political, social, and historical content illuminates the intellectual role of the iconic magazine and its contribution to African American scholarship.
"West’s book is the first major examination of Ebony as a forum for black historical discourse and the magazine’s long-time executive editor Lerone Bennett Jr.’s multifaceted thought, work, and scholarship as a leading popular historian of the black past and vital contributor to the post-war black history movement. A well-researched and accessible study situated within the growing field of black intellectual history, Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr. is a major contribution to our understanding of what West aptly calls 'popular black history" - Pero G. Dagbovie
© E. James West, 2019