Friday, January 28, 2011

Sepia Hits a Grand Slam Home Run

Most J5 fans and collectors are familiar with Sepia magazine because they know the October 1971 issue when the Jackson 5 appeared on the cover. Sepia was similar to Ebony, in that it covered African-American news and entertainers, and was heavily illustrated with black-and-white photos.

Six months earlier, however, the April 1971 issue of Sepia had carried an eight-page feature on the group's return to Gary, called "The Jackson 5 'Go Home'" but you'd never know it from the magazine's cover. I only found it by looking through bound back issues of Sepia in my local Historical Society. So imagine my surprise when I came across this treasure trove of rare photos and first-hand reporting. It makes an excellent argument for why collectors shouldn't limit themselves to collecting magazines with J5 covers. Given a choice between a posed color cover photo and eight pages of rare black-and-white photos and an informative article, I'd choose the latter.

Since this is the best article I've found to date on the subject, with some of the best candid J5 photos ever, I've scanned the entire thing. My personal favorite is the photo of Jackie, Jermaine, Michael, Marlon, and Johnny in their matching brown leather jackets, sitting on the couch in their old family living room at 2300 Jackson Street. Sorry about the tight margins on the scans. Sepia was an oversized magazine, and the only copy I've seen of the April 1971 issue was part of a tightly bound volume. (And, as usual, click on the individual pages to enlarge them.)


  1. They all look so thrilled to be there. :)

  2. I always thought it was funny that on the cover of the magazine Jermaine is sitting between Jackie's legs!!

    graet article!