Honoring John H. Johnson’s Journey in Print


Today is #NationalBookLoversDay on Twitter and we couldn’t let this day pass with out paying homage to Johnson Publishing founder John H. Johnson.  He chronicles his journey in his autobiography, ‘Succeeding Against The Odds,’ where he tells of his humble beginnings and journey to building the EBONY, JET and Fashion Fair brands. Below are the most inspiring quotes from the book.

John H. Johnson Book - #NationalBookLoversDay

“The reason I succeeded was that I didn’t know that it was impossible to succeed. For me, then, ignorance was a blessing. Since I didn’t know that it was impossible to do what I wanted to do, I did it.”

“I didn’t get where I am today by accepting the first no as a final no.”

“I’m too insecure myself to have people around me who believe that failure is a possibility. Failure is a word that I don’t accept.”

“You’ve got to commit yourself to an act or a vision that pulls you further than you want to go and forces you to use your hidden strengths.”

“If you can somehow think and dream of success in small steps, every time you make a step, every time you accomplish a small goal, it gives you confidence to go on from there.”

“Why did I succeed when so many other Black publishers failed? The answer to that question is simple. I was lucky, the timing was right, and I worked hard.”

“The time for a Negro magazine, the time for a Negro Digest or an Ebony or JET, had come and nothing could stop it if-and it’s a big if – the idea could find a man or a woman who willing to do anything or almost anything, to make the time come.”

“Not only did we report the struggle, but we also became a part of the struggle. We didn’t stand on our credentials.”

“A small step gives you the confidence to make a big step. And a big step gives you courage to run.”

“I refused to give up. I refused to take no for an answer, and I refused to let others take no for an answer.”