Interview With Linda Johnson Rice

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Today. Linda johnson rice joins me skimmed from the couch. She is the ceo of johnson publishing company which published ebony and jet magazines johnson publishing helps give a voice to millions and chronicle the african american experience across the country. Linda has also served on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards including the chicago public library. Omni kong group. Grubhub tesla estonians national museum of african american history and culture. Linda thank you so much for coming on the show. Welcome to skimmed from the couch. Thank you for having me carly. I'm excited to be here and sounds to have you here so i think you know the first question. We start with the same one every show. Skim your resume for us. I most certainly. I'm happy to do that. I am still the ceo of johnson publishing company. So that is great and it. Is that the founding company for ebony jet magazines and fashion fair cosmetics all started by my family and for better or for worse i have never worked anyplace else and so i grew up in the business. Grew up in the in the magazine business in the publishing business and also in the beauty business but always surrounded by incredible people great parents but great staff who were very uplifting and all about aspiration and inspiration for the african american community. So i grew up in the business. I went to Born and raised in chicago got my degree in journalism from. Usc came back and got my masters in management from northwestern. And i got my masters in management. So funny i started out full time in school and then i switched and i went part time so it took me longer but i really wanted to work at the same time and i had the luxury to be able to do that. A lot of people don't have that. But i did because i wasn't looking for a job once i got my degree. I already knew where. I was going to be an actually once. I i got my masters in management. I actually became president a company like the very next day. But i do want to stress. One thing that i think is really important here and that is i have worked in a family business but it was not a given that i was just going to step into this role and if you know if you knew anything about my parents it was nothing was given. You've really had to earn it. And so it does seem like boy. That was a really fast. Reject re but This was decades and decades of work. I mean i spent more time at a copy machine making copies and doing all kinds of stuff that you know people do when you start out in in a company. I don't think that was any different for me. Something that people would be surprised to know about you that if not on your professional bio oh my goodness. Let's see on a personal side. I i love to ride. I have horses. I've owned horses all my life so that is sort of my luxury right now. I don't have one. But it's the way i can relax and i studied opera. We do you think. Please don't ask me to sing. But i did. I studied opera for for many years. Took voice lessons and loved. It absolutely loved it. We're gonna dive into the family business. Tell me about your family. Tell me about your parents so you know my parents. John and eunice. Johnson were part of the great migration of african americans from the south to the north. So my father came from arkansas. My mother came from alabama and very different backgrounds. This is so it's really interesting. My my father came from nothing. And when i say nothing his town great people but only six hundred and sixty eight people there. His mother believed in him so much and she just you know the love that she had for him she poured into just him and so for her. The best thing for him was to get out of arkansas arkansas and get education and the way to do that was you know they. They got on the train and they came to chicago. they had relatives in chicago. So a lot of people. With the migration from arkansas people came to chicago alabama. They came to chicago. My mother came from alabama so my father dirt poor came to chicago. Went to high. School became head of the debating team editor. The school paper graduated attended the university of chicago and my mother on the other hand came from a background. Where you have to think about this. Her father was a surgeon. Her mother was a schoolteacher in psalm alabama so obviously black african american back then prominent family. Her two brothers were surgeons. Her sister was a phd professor in english and my mother came to chicago to get her master's in social services at loyola. So now you've got these two converging people now completely different backgrounds you know and and they met ed dance. My parents met at a dance and my father. I remember him saying you know. Ask your mother. You know at the dance. Could i take her whole and my mother said absolutely not absolutely not it. She said. I'm going home with the person that brought me. And so for my father. Being the maverick entrepreneurs salesman was game on. That was

Coming up next