Statement on Lerone Bennett
It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that we share the news of the death of Lerone Bennett Jr. A gifted journalist and historian, Bennett was, what Linda Johnson Rice of Johnson Publishing called, “a shining light” that was crucial to the success of Ebony and Jet Magazines. Bennett used the pages of Ebony Magazine to introduce generations to African American history. A wonderful historian, Bennett had the skill to bring history alive and to give his readers a history that was little known and yet accessible. His most important book was “Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America,” which explored the impact of African Americans on the United States. Along with John Hope Franklin’s “From Slavery to Freedom,” “Before the Mayflower” became the bible of African American History. While his shining light has dimmed, his work will continue to educate and inspire for generations.