Margena A. Christian
Margena A. Christian, Ed.D. is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where she is a founding faculty member of the Professional Writing minor. Her research interests focus on the intersections of the role of the media in education, Black popular culture and historical inquiry. At the Research 1 institution, she was chosen by the UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks (CCSB) as a Black History Maker for 2021.
Christian is the author of Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built (The Life & Legacy of Pioneering Publishing Magnate). The media scholar is a former Senior Editor and Senior Writer with the pioneering, African American monthly EBONY magazine. She is the only editor in the history of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) to have written for EBONY, JET, EBONY Man, EBONY South Africa, EBONY Fashion Fair and EBONY.com. Dr. Christian compiled the history for EBONY Fashion Fair, JPC's pioneering traveling fashion show, and was the last editor at JPC to have worked with late publishing magnate John H. Johnson, founder of JPC, before leaving the company in 2014.
Commissioned articles written by Christian about John H. Johnson, Eunice W. Johnson, *Lerone Bennett Jr., *Bo Diddley, *Tupac Shakur, *Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, **Donna Summer and **Aaliyah are on American National Biography (Oxford University Press 2019, *2021, **2022). Forthcoming ANB biographies include Luther Vandross and Ossie Davis. Excerpts of JET magazine stories she authored have been used in academic textbooks, including Ideas & Details: A Guide to College Writing, Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries and in Magazine Writing.