True Reformer Building: Still a catalyst for change

By Alice Thomas-Tisdale JA Publisher Emerita John A. Lankford (1874-1946) was the official architect for the African Methodist Episcopal Church and many other distinguished organizations. In 1905, Lankford, the first Black registered architect in Washington, DC, spearheaded the organization of the DC branch of the National Negro Business League, a self-help association first established five years earlier by Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute while Lankford was a student there. The establishment of the group emanated from Washington’s belief that the key to social equality lay in economic development and was consistent with Lankford’s own interest in pursuing racial equality. Lankford was the architect for the True Reformer Building, a civic and cultural Washington, DC, landmark designed for community conversations, conferences, and reform. It was the first building in the United States to be designed, financed, built, and owned by the African American community after Reconstruction. Located at 1200 U

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Roy Lewis: Photographer extraordinaire

By Alice Thomas-Tisdale JA Publisher Emerita  In November 2023, Arkansas officials unveiled a statue commemorating African American magazine publisher John H. Johnson at the Delta Heritage Trail State Park in Arkansas City, and awarded the inaugural John H. Johnson Media and Journalism Award to famed photographer Roy Lewis, U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis, and Coach Larry Clark. Lewis hails from Natchez, MS. “Quite an honor,” said Lewis, who began his storied journalism career working for Johnson in Chicago and whose iconic work is regularly featured in The Washington Informer.  Also in November 2023, Lewis, now 86, was in his home state for the 50th year commemoration of the Jackson State University Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival, the brainchild of famed writer/poet Margaret Walker. Lewis traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, to photograph the original festival in 1973 of Black women writers such as Margaret Walker, Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, and Nikki Giovanni. However,

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A Salute to Dr. Ivory Phillips!

Dr. Ivory Phillips has been a contributing writer to the Jackson Advocate for 42 years. He has been instrumental in highlighting issues in the Jackson community that deal with education and politics.

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