Life and Legacy of Moss Kendrix
National Association of Market Developers
REPORT: The Changing Face of the Urban Markets
African-American Image Abroad: Golly, It's Good!
African-American Image in Advertising
Advertiser's Holy Trinity: Aunt Jemima, Rastus, and Uncle Ben
Distorted Reflection: African-Americans and Beauty Products
The Times They Are A-Changing 1960 - 1990
Advertising Future for African-Americans
the Public Thinks, Counts
Alexandria Black History Museum
© The Museum of Public Relations.
All Rights Reserved.
museum and library:
Baruch College CUNY
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Kendrix was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1917. His early education
was obtained through the local public schools, and he counted future
entertainer Lena Horne as one of his close childhood friends. He later
attended Atlanta's Morehouse College, a respected college for African-American
was a popular college student, who became the editor of the Morehouse
newspaper The Maroon Tiger, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
He was also the co-founder of the Phi Delta Delta Journalism Society,
the first and only society of its kind for African-American journalism
students. In 1939, just after graduating from Morehouse, Kendrix created
National Negro Newspaper Week. He was accepted into Howard University's
Law School in 1939, but opted to gain work experience. That same year,
he married Dorothy Marie Johnson, a student at Spellman College, the
sister school to Morehouse. They had two sons, Moss Kendrix, Jr. and
made corporate America aware of the buying power of African-Americans,
as well as the need to tap this powerful market for employment
in 1941, Kendrix served in the United States Army. During that period
he worked for the Treasury Department in the War Finance Office and
traveled across the country with African American celebrities promoting
war bonds, and often appeared on radio shows for the CBS network. Two
of his favorite celebrity spokespersons were composer/musician Duke
Ellington and singer Billy Eckstine.
Moss Kendrix became the director of public relations for the Republic
of Liberia's Centennial Celebration, and his successful work for this
event is believed to have been the inspiration for his future career
in public relations.
year, he founded his own public relations firm, The Moss Kendrix Organization.
The company motto, "What the Public Thinks
Counts!" was also his mantra, which he embossed on the organization's
letterhead. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization was in charge
of major accounts targeting African-American consumers. The Coca-Cola
Company, Carnation, the National Dental Association, the National Educational
Association, the Republic of Liberia, and Ford Motor Company were all
clients of the firm. In addition to his corporate work, Moss was also
the host of a weekly radio program, "Profiles of Our Times," on WWDC
for many years.
Kendrix Organization gradually phased out of operation in the 1970s,
but the legacy of his work continues to live on. Moss Kendrix died in
Legacy of Moss Kendrix
that Moss Kendrix left on the world of advertising can be seen everywhere.
Billboards, magazine advertisements, television commercials, and radio
ads routinely use positive images African-American actors, models, and
voice over artists to sell products.
made corporate America aware of the buying power of African-Americans
the initiative of Moss Kendrix and others in his field, African-Americans,
Asians, Hispanics, Native-Americans and other minorities would not be
represented as fully in print ads, on television, or in the movies.
Kendrix made corporate America aware of the buying power of African-Americans,
as well as the need to tap this powerful market for employment opportunities.
This, in turn, opened up the arena for other minorities.
in the portrayal of minorities continue to occur every day. Today, the
legacy of Moss Kendrix lives on in the National
Association of Market Developers and other professional groups he
helped to create, and in the goals and successes of African-Americans
in the field of public relations.
WITH KENNEDY OPENS BIG WEEKEND FOR CAPITAL PRESS CLUB: PRESS INSTITUTE
AND FICTITIOUS FEMALE AWARDEE HIGHLIGHT NEWSMEN'S ANNUAL EVENT
John F. Kennedy greeted members of the Capital Press Club at the
White House last weekend when he found he couldn't attend the
club's annual awards luncheon.
President received the group of about thirty newsmen and women
in the Rose Garden Just outside the executive offices and was
presented a gold membership card by Dolphin Thompson, the club's
N. Thompson, press club president-elect, presented honorary memberships
to Pierre Salinger, White House Press Secretary, and his assistant,
Andrew Hatcher. Mr. Kennedy accepted for Mr. Hatcher, who was
en route to Paris.
annual awards luncheon was thrown into a guessing game when it
was announced that "Miss Helen E. Batiste" was winner of the club's
"Journalist of the Year" award. Judges made the selection of "her"
work as "an outstanding job on a limited budget."
Batiste" turned out to be Ernest Goodman who has done publicity
for the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc., without
the knowledge of club members. Mr. Goodman is director of Information
Services at Howard University.
H. Kendrix (in red circle)
Awards went for Community Relations -- Mrs. Ruth B. Spencer, former
member of the District Board of Education; Human Relations --
Mortimer C. Lebowitz, president, Morton's Stores; Mass Communication
-- Miss Era Bell Thompson, editor of Ebony magazine; Civil Rights
-- Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., District's Democratic State Central Committee's
went to the Rev. James Robinson, pastor, Church of the Master,
New York, and leader of Operation Crossroads Africa; Mrs. Pearlie
Cox Harrison, retired society editor, Washington Afro-American;
for the Presidential Vote of D. C., a group award, and the Rev.
Laurence Henry, head of the District's Non-Violent Action Group
and leader of last year's sit-ins in near-by Maryland and Virginia.
the Press Institute a panel on the subject "Africa -- Challenge
to Mass Media," concluded that the matter of semantics in the
communication of concepts is one of the major problems confronting
American mass media today.
limitations in newspapers, group stereotypes and the general public
disinterest in most foreign affairs were also cited as problems
facing the press in reporting on African as well as other foreign
included Alfred Friendly, managing editor, Washington Post, Era
Bell Thompson, Ebony magazine; Dr. Otto Schaler, American University,
and Albert Q. Smart-Abbey, African correspondent.