“I am a mother please don’t kill my kids.” A Black woman sitting down during protest, shows her protest sign. | Washington, D.C. 13 Jun 2020 | Photography Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

Local, state & federal laws
favored people who are Caucasian
in daily dealings, with a fatal flaw
for those who challenged the situation.

White family wealth is accrued
over centuries while people of color
endure socioeconomic abuse
as generations struggle to recover.

An absence of any pursuit
of justice for Black bodily harm
was so common that distrust took root
in the community for cops as the norm.

Remnants of this unjust legacy
now make national headlines
that spotlight systems of White Supremacy
as unarmed Blacks meet an untimely demise.

Agents of the state rarely tried
for overstepping their authority
by and…

Shifting my mindset from people-pleaser to self-care

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

As I grew up, I noticed that I got the “best” out of acquaintances when I caused them to smile. I developed a habit of mentally cataloging what I did to get that reaction. Sharing a witty remark. Sharing a video game cartridge. Sharing rides in my parents' vehicle. An obvious theme slowly emerged which would take me years to recognize and inner strength to resolve to my benefit. The process increased my understanding of healthy relationships. …

Why raising children today is unlike previous generations

Photo by Sharon Carr on Unsplash

I read a tweet in my timeline asking when attitudes changed towards letting kids explore their neighborhood. The gist of the argument goes: “When I was a kid, my parent(s) pushed me out of the door in the morning. Told me not to return until lunchtime. Then, it’s back outside until dinner or until the street lights came on. None of us had phones, and we were fine.” It’s always a version of that stream of thought.

I’ve pondered this issue have a few theories about why this “hands-off” parenting practice faded away. The three main ones boil down to…

Going virtual rounds with a member of the other side of America

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

I recently went toe-to-toe online with someone with a different focus on the social unrest that flared up during the summer of 2020.

The Weigh-In

The initial post asked to have a moment of silence for George Floyd at 11 am on the anniversary of his murder. At this point, the killer was convicted of murder by a jury, who agreed that former officer Derek Chauvin took Floyd’s life with intent. This is a matter of public record. …

Tales of speed traps I triggered

Photo purchased from 20319001 / Police Radar © John Roman | Dreamstime.com

I am a thrill-seeker. Thus, I drive a tad bit faster than the posted speed limits. Having people pass me when I’m driving at the speed limit bugs me. However, what stings more is seeing red and blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror. These are three times that I was snared in a speed trap while going about my day.

Trap Numéro Uno — short and sour

The rise of the computer industry enriched my life

Composite photo designed by the author

What would I be doing for work without the rise of the Infomation Technology field within the last 40 years? I’ve wrestled with coming up with another decent, white-collar career I would’ve pursued if computers weren’t so prolific in society. I have not found an answer which I could state with conviction that I would invest my passion into that career.

For some insight into my journey, Computer Science was not initially my major of choice in college. The Infomation Technology field was still in its infancy in the mid-80s. The college major was so new that, in my freshman…

The Marvel Cinematic Universe made discussing comic books OK

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

I’ve got a secret. I’ve had one for almost 30 years. OK, it’s not really a secret. The truth is I’ve known that most of the source material for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is 30 to 60 years old. Yes, the movies that are all the rage now are based on comic book arcs that premiered in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

It’s ironic that I see so many average moviegoers flock to see these blockbuster films. In life before the MCU, people lacking comic book reading experience would’ve brushed me…

Seeing yourself in TV or movie characters

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

I’ve seen versions of a question like clockwork in social media. It goes something like this: “In what TV show or movie do you see yourself?” It always causes me to pause. The more one determines you are from an American subculture, the deeper the challenge becomes to find a character that checks all of the mental boxes of your personality. The question trended well on Twitter when it was all the rage to change your avatar to your “Hollywood twin” for a brief period. I struggled with that venture.

Varying risk levels in a crew on a thrill park trip

Photo by Stas Knop at Pexels

If you’ve read I was like “Whoa!”, then you know that I am drawn to thrills! There’s nothing like rushing into a snaking rope line at an amusement park to get the chance to board a thrill ride that will release the slow buildup of butterflies in my stomach through uncontrolled screams! Many times I don’t even know the degree of thrill I’m getting into because I refuse to research the details of the ride beyond whether the track system is above my head or below my feet. …

Blindsided by personal signs of a U.S. culture clash

Photo by Rommel Davila on Unsplash

One learns cultural things when you move 800+ miles away from your hometown. There are some concepts you expect to explain to new friends you make, as well as ideas you will learn from them about your new locale. Things like:

  • carry a light jacket with you on a visit to Chicago in April. (I had to buy one there because I was clueless, and I kept shivering while walking down Michigan Ave. in short sleeves. It’s warm in April down South! )
  • lift with your legs when you’re shoveling snow, not with your back.
  • don’t expect a holiday off…

Joel A. Johnson

Family man, & creative who enjoys karaoke, poetry, & balance sports (skating & skiing). I focus on social justice. Writes for The Lark, AfroSapiophile, WEOC

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