“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…


Poem

Tech Field Preacher Poem

Photo by Lagos Techie on Unsplash

The goal is to spark the wonder
of high school youth for the fields
of S.T.E.M. to increase the number
of diverse people to levels more ideal.

The career isn’t glamorous
like music or sport pursuits
that tend to stir adolescent avarice
of some ambitious lower income youth.

The work tends to regularly
entail the solving of a puzzle
of requirements to ultimately
support flows that businesses juggle.

The tools and training can be found
at one’s fingertips with diligent
online searches to build a sound
foundation with technical certificates.

The mentors and networks exist
to feed an eager pipeline
seeking emerging…


Three times seeking adrenaline rushes made me pause

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

I am, and have always been, an avid thrill-seeker. I can recall the feeling of finally being tall enough to ride the rollercoasters at theme parks. This is partly because I have an older brother who always accomplished the bucket list wishes of my youth first. Thus, I would count the days, and the inches from growth spurts, until I passed the thin red line that says “54in or taller to ride”. Goodbye, “Whirly Swings”! Hello, “Monster Truck” coasters! …


How Wikipedia simulates real-life racism

Giulia Forsythe (gforsythe), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

United States discrimination and racism is a strange beast. It can rear its ugly head to discredit your efforts as an African-American, yet is challenging to prove outright unless a video undoubtedly displays the sinister actions at work. The results, whether or not they are dire, aren’t enough to have authorities step in to take corrective measures, if there are “authorities” at all.

In this case, it was about writing. About 2007, the writing bug had bit me. I had tried to look up information on a significant TV series or personality, but could not…


Bittersweet notions about Tulsa Race Massacre 100th anniversary public recognition

Tulsa Oklahoma “Hostility” statue | Image by Mike Goad from Pixabay

This week marked the national recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Tulsa Race Massacre. For anyone who needs to be caught up, this incident entailed an enraged White mob marching into “Black Wall Street”, a segregated Black community in Tulsa, OK, to pillage and destroy the wealthy Black community of Greenwood and murder or uproot its residents. The initial cause for the rage was an alleged assault of a White woman by a Black man in Tulsa. Armed Black WWI veterans who risked their lives to serve the USA gathered at the Tulsa jail to beat back the…


Writing terms paint the menace of racism

Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

We’re all writers on this platform trying to find a devoted reading audience. We strive to become more adept at honing our voice through the writing process. As I’ve thought about the steps, I’ve realized that there is a correlation between writing and the process of navigating through life.

Most people with dreams care deeply about manifesting them through pride and determination. They invest in personal projects through careful steps. This is often done incognito until they are ready to reveal the final product. Similarly, as writers, we begin stories as drafts from ideas that were sparked by some experiences…


The beauty of the “underworld”

Image by picman2 from Pixabay

I had passed the signs a “million times” on my way back and forth to New Orleans on I-55. “Meramac Caverns. Experience a cave adventure like no other.” The billboard advertisements sparked some kid like wonder in me that used to burn while reading tales of little boys exploring the wilderness near their campgrounds over summer break. The caveat to those stories was that these were White kids the nation would grind to a halt to find if one of the kids disappeared. As a Black person, going somewhere out of the way alone is always a nagging concern to…


Canine territory defense adventure game: I guess the rules & she breaks them!

Photo by Maria Chernetskaya on Unsplash

My dog and I play a game. She knows the complete rules. She’s fails to share them with me. The game goes something like this:

  • I’m walking my dog down the street;
  • A person approaches with or without a pet;
  • I rein in the leash;
  • My furkid growls and barks furiously…with her Napoleonic complex (she’s so small);
  • Rinse and repeat;

Rarely has she been accommodating to “foreign parties” that innocently approach. I’m always aware of this “game" even when we’re on a family walk and another family member has the leash.


A pandemic poem

Photo 44325112 / Drive Thru © Erin Bonilla | Dreamstime.com

A rising trait during drive-thru
trips to restaurants over lockdown
is that some workers have no clue
of quality service without breakdown.

The mumbled squawk of a query
with the phrase “your order" maybe
peppered in makes me slightly leery
that, from the start, service is flakey.

Please don’t let me complete
a multi-step custom food order
for you to ask “Can you repeat
that?” It’s like first-world torture.

“Pull forward” is not the last
brusque remark I’d like said. Devoid
of thanks for choosing to not pass
this establishment where you’re employed.

My expectations at the window
are met with…

Joel A. Johnson

Family man, and creative soul who enjoys photography, karaoke, poetry, & balance sports (skating & skiing). I also focus on social justice issues.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store