Arkansas Unveils New Statue Honoring Pioneering Ebony Publisher, John H. Johnson


by Veracity Savant

November 8, 2023

He’s left a lasting legacy!

John H. Johnson was the founder of Johnson Publishing Company, one of the largest Black-owned public companies in the U.S. For more than four decades, from the 1960s through the 2000s, the publishing company dominated, producing iconic magazines like Ebony and Jet. Johnson became one of the most influential Black men in media, and the magazines became staples in Black households across America. 

Recently, Johnson was honored in his hometown of Arkansas, the community coming out in droves for the 5th annual John H. Johnson Day in the city honoring the late publisher, Fox 16 news reports. This year, Arkansas City officials unveiled a new statue honoring the Ebony publisher. 


“I think the statue just embeds my father’s legacy,” said Johnson’s daughter Linda Johnson Rice. 

“It looks so much like him; it’s a beautiful piece. I’m so happy he is home,” added Johnson’s granddaughter Alexa Rice. 

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A post shared by Johnson Publishing Comapny (@johnsonpublishingcompany)


The statue was created by Little Rock sculptor Susan Holley Williams and is located in Arkansas City at Johnson’s commemorative plaza at the Delta Heritage Trail State Park. Over the course of his life, Johnson received numerous awards and honors, making history as the first African American named to the Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans in 1982. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Bill Clinton in 1996. 

The ceremony was filled with supporters, family, and community members. There was also a group of school-aged children in attendance, Johnson Rice saying she hopes they are motivated first by her father’s life and work. 


“I would hope that my father’s legacy would represent them and give a sense of aspiration and inspiration and that somewhere on that school bus is another John Johnson.” 

Cover photo: Arkansas Unveils New Statue Honoring Pioneering Ebony Publisher, John H. Johnson/Photo by @JohnsonPublishingCompany/Instagram 

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