Sepia and its related magazines The World Messenger, Negro Achievements, Bronze Thrills, Sepia Record, Hep, Jive, Soul Teen, Soul Confessions and one newspaper In Sepia Dallas began in Fort Worth, TX in 1945 with the establishment of The World Messenger by Horace J. Blackwe​ll, an African-American minister. The magazine's name changed to Negro Achievements in 1948 to better reflect its focus on the positive contributions of African-Americans amidst the continuing struggle for racial equality.  After Mr. Blackwell's death in 1949, his widow sold the publication to a successful local businessman George T. Levitan after being approached by an employee desperately trying to keep her job. 

Negro Achievements was renamed briefly as Bronze Thrills and finally to Sepia, a general interest magazine with a heavy reliance upon photographs. 

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Inspired by early R&B legends of the '60s and '70s, Jenny J. grew up swooning along with her radio. She cultivated her silky-smooth vocals in a gospel choir in her hometown of Memphis, where she still performs on occasion.

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