john h johnson interview usa today with dr barbara reynolds in the book And Still We Rise

He was president of  Johnson Publications located in Chicago where he founded Jet, Ebony, EM magazines, and Negro Digest. Discrimination was so severe in the 1940’s when he launched his first magazines, Johnson had to dress up like a janitor and accompany a white lawyer to be able to enter the building he later bought as his headquarters. When he tried to obtain ads from white firms and to get white corporations to carry his cosmetic lines he was refused.