His Work Spread Powerful Black History Nationwide

Lerone Bennett
Abeni Jones
January 14, 2020

When he was a child growing up in Mississippi in the 1930s, Lerone Bennett, Jr. was fascinated by the power of words. 

He was writing for a Black newspaper by the time he was 12 years old! But that was just the beginning of his legendary 60-year career in journalism.

He continued writing at Morehouse, where he met classmate Martin Luther King, Jr, and later wrote for the Atlanta Daily World. But it was his tenure as editor at Ebony Magazine that made a major mark on the world.

As Ebony’s leader, he took his role as educator to his community seriously.

“An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor,” he has said.

Bennett published countless articles on Black history in the pages of Ebony, many of which were eventually collected into numerous popular and influential books

He wrote the first biography of former classmate Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, and his articles exposing the racism of Abraham Lincoln were collected in a controversial book, “Forced into Glory.”

Bennett took his love of words and used them to spread the truth about his people to the world up until his death in 2018 at the age of 89. 

His story is a great reminder that we all have our own gifts and passions that can be used for the benefit of our community!

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