The photo archive of Ebony Magazine that chronicles African American life is to go on the auction block in July if a Chicago bankruptcy court approves.
The collection is being auctioned to pay off secured creditors of Johnson Publishing. The former magazine publisher filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in April.
Johnson Publishing sold its Ebony and Jet magazines three years ago. The Chicago-based company has tried since 2015 to sell its photo archive. The collection of 4 million images chronicles the civil rights movement and the lives of prominent figures such as Billie Holiday and Muhammad Ali. It was once appraised at $46 million.
The auction would recover money owed secured creditors filmmaker George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, whose Capital V Holdings loaned $12 million to Johnson Publishing.