I was 8 when I met John H. Johnson ["Publisher Helped Chronicle Black Life With Ebony and Jet," front page, Aug. 9].
I looked up Johnson Publishing Co. in the phone book and asked to speak with the president. The operator directed me to Mr. Johnson's secretary, who was amused that a little girl wanted to schedule an appointment.
I told Mr. Johnson's assistant that I wanted to be a journalist, the president and a Jet centerfold model when I grew up before I married Rodney Allen Rippy or Gary Coleman. I wanted to speak with Mr. Johnson about how I could rule the world just like he did when I grew up.
His secretary said she'd get back to me. When I did not get a response, I persisted.
My efforts came to fruition after about six months, when Mr. Johnson gave me 15 minutes of his time.
I told him about my career objectives, which at that time included becoming the first black "Charlie's Angel." He told me that I scared him. "This child is driven," he said.
He told me to study hard, stay determined and be vigilant in pursuing my goals.
When I was the press secretary for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Johnson Publishing was critical to my job. I preferred -- and the Rev. Jesse Jackson required -- that Johnson Publishing be aware of what the organization was doing. I recall contacting Jet and Ebony before I communicated with other mainstream media.
Johnson Publishing is still part of my dream, because when I get married, I want the ceremony to be performed by the Rev. Jackson and featured in Ebony magazine.
Johnson Publishing is the voice of black America. Mr. Johnson will be missed by all, but his legacy continues.