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America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having ... the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock, to empty promises, to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race … ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word With Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring hi ...
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Jason Johnson Ministries

Jason Johnson

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The heart and foundation of JJM is to teach and proclaim God's Word with Passion, Simplicity, and Integrity. We believe God's Word has the power to save and transform lives. With this foundation, our aim is to make a lasting difference in the lives of others for the glory of Christ in our community and world.
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show series
 
Environmentalism has long been viewed as a preoccupation of white, educated, affluent voters. But climate change disproportionally impacts communities of color. Now a new generation of activists is building political awareness around environmentalism in the Black community. That’s part of the mission of the Hip Hop Caucus, a group that’s been worki…
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The American obsession with categorizing people by race isn’t just a problem for our institutions. For multi-racial and multi-ethnic Americans, it can be intensely personal. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist Natasha Alford. She shares her own unique experience navigating America’s complicated ideas about race in he…
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The promise of artificial intelligence in medicine is that it can reduce the influence of human error and bias in health care. But there’s growing concern that A.I. in medicine –as in other fields– can reflect the biases and lack of diversity among its creators. And that can have life threatening consequences for African American patients. On today…
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The 1989 murder of Carol Stuart in Boston became a national story, fueled by anxiety over urban crime. The city’s police broke down doors in the Black community, strip searched dozens of Black and brown men on the street, and arrested a Black suspect. Then Stuart’s husband was exposed as the killer. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is jo…
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A generation of activists –and well-meaning citizens– was pulled into intense social justice work by the murder of George Floyd in 2020. And the horrific crime, the fight for progess, and the backlash has taken a toll on their mental health. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo about her new book,…
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Texas is one of the 24 states that has passed the CROWN Act. “CROWN” stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, and these laws are supposed to stop discrimination against Black people who wear their hair in natural styles. But high school senior Darryl George has been fighting suspension for months over his dreadlocks. The is…
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Decades before most people had heard of Barack Obama, Black Republican Colin Powell was widely believed to be on the path to the presidency. And the Republican Party was the first political home of many African Americans. But the contemporary G.O.P, led by former President Donald Trump, has introduced a new class of Black Republicans who command li…
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President Biden’s campaign kick-off speech at the historic Mother Emanuel AME church in South Carolina was interrupted by protesters this week. It was an awkward moment that provoked a lot of debate on social media about whether demonstrators were abusing the spirit of the Black church, or honoring it. It also revived questions about whether Democr…
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Comic book films have dominated the box office for a generation, and gave many diverse actors and artists an opportunity to shine. But the genre struggled during 2023, and fans are worried that the golden age has ended for those movies and the culture that inspired them. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist David Beta…
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The man who rose to fame –some would say infamy– as H. Rap Brown has a uniquely American story, inventing and reinventing himself over the course of decades. He turned himself from a teenage tough guy into a civil rights leader. He abandoned the philosophy of non-violence to become a Black Power pioneer. He underwent a jailhouse conversion to Islam…
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In recent years, several states and localities have passed “crown” laws, statutes that keep employers from discriminating against African Amercans for wearing their hair in natural styles. That’s because, historically, having straight hair has often been a requirement for professional advancement for Black women in particular. But there is more sci…
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Shanice Stewart was 9 months pregnant when Sacramento police pulled her over, and compelled her to leave her car at gunpoint. The reason? They mistook her 8-year-old son for a hardened criminal. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist Christina Carrega to discuss “the talk.” Carrega explains why the conversation that man…
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The violent January 6th insurrection was a historic threat to American democracy. It led to five deaths, and many more injuries. Several Capitol police were hurt, but still managed to keep congressmembers and staff safe. Veteran officer Harry Dunn was awarded a Presidential Citizens Medal for his service that day, and is now sharing his experience …
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It’s Black Friday, prime time for many of us to binge on holiday leftovers and some of our favorite family-friendly shows. One of them is likely to be ABC’s Abbott Elementary. Before the show rewrote the lesson plan for workplace comedies, star and creator Quinta Brunson joined A Word to speak with Jason Johnson to talk about what inspired Abbott, …
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The first hopes for a post-racial America were raised during Reconstruction, the post-Civil War era when the country’s leaders pledged to fulfill the promise of freedom for formerly enslaved Blacks. But after a decade of reforms, the brutal racial hierarchy was reestablished in the South, costing African Americans their rights, opportunities, and—i…
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Despite dismal poll numbers for President Biden, the off-year elections brought big wins for Democrats around the country, including in red states. Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Andy Beshear beat Black Republican Daniel Cameron to retain his seat, while Ohio voters supported legalized marijuana and abortion rights, in defiance of the state’s GOP l…
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**THIS EPISODE CONTAINS REPEATED PROFANITY, AND MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL LISTENERS.** Leslie Jones got her big break, joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, at the age of 47. She says that the long wait for stardom meant that she knew her worth and how to stand up for herself, even when the stakes were high. On today’s episode of A Word, Ja…
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The NFL is a multi-billion dollar business, with a player population that’s more than 60 percent African American. Yet the league’s owners, leadership, and reporters don’t reflect that diversity. In his role as an NFL Media journalist, Jim Trotter repeatedly questioned officials, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, about the league’s lack of …
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Supreme Court watchers are concerned that the Justices are poised to make racial gerrymandering all but impossible to prove. This comes after the Court recently heard arguments in the case of Alexander v. the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Brandon Tensley, national political re…
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With more than one and half million people behind bars, the U.S. is second only to China in the number of citizens who are incarcerated. And an estimated one of three African American men spend some part of their lives under the control or supervision of the criminal justice system. The consequences of incarceration for individuals, families, and c…
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Many of the gains of the Civil Rights movement were built by African Americans who turned grief—often over the violent deaths of loved ones—into activism. At the same time, grief over anticipated or theoretical losses within the white community is frequently harnessed into political power. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by po…
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**Today’s episode discusses sensitive language, including the n-word, and may not be appropriate for all listeners.** For decades, words and phrases that originate in Black homes, churches, and entertainment have been pulled into the national conversation…where their meanings are often changed or widely misunderstood. And social media has accelerat…
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Against the odds, a tight-knit group of Black families created the community of Shoe Lane in Newport News, Virginia in the early 20th century. Residents bought land, and often built their homes, expecting to hand down a thriving African American neighborhood to future generations. Then Christopher Newport University systematically took the land ove…
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The teaching of Black history has been under increasing political attack in recent years. But the version of African American history taught –even to Black people– has always been incomplete. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by columnist Michael Harriot to discuss his new book, Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of Amer…
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Kwamé Holland started his music career at the dawn of the hip-hop era. But after decades in the business, the rapper and producer is reconnecting with his first creative love – toys! And he’s building a community of Black toy lovers who don’t just collect action figures, but build and even play with them. On today’s episode of A Word, Kwamé Holland…
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The racist murders of three Black Americans in Jacksonville renewed fears of a rising tide of violent white supremacists. At the same time, fascist movements are successfully recruiting more diverse members. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Daryle Lamont Jenkins, an activist who has devoted his career to tracking and confron…
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A small-town government’s failures pushed volunteer Patrick Braxton to run for mayor. He won the right to lead in Newbern, Alabama. But a white minority has literally locked him out of office. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Aallyah Wright, the Capital B journalist who helped elevate Braxton’s ordeal to national news. They …
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This week’s indictment of former President Donald Trump in Georgia is widely considered to be the most ambitious prosecution he faces. With 41 counts, and 18 named co-conspirators, it covers alleged crimes in Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 loss in the state. But the case also highlights his attacks on individual Black women, and legitimacy of…
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According to the United Nations, more civilians died in Haiti than died in Ukraine during the first few months of 2023. Institutions have collapsed; violent gangs control the capital, and kidnappers are terrorizing citizens. What’s left of the Haitian government has pleaded for international help, but historically, foreign interventions in Haiti ha…
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More people are watching women’s sports than ever before, and the U.S. has high hopes for the Women’s World Cup. Still, there’s a lag in media coverage and resources for women athletes, particularly women of color. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Subria Whitaker, the chief of the non-profit organization Grow the Game. They …
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For some, the election of Barack Obama signified hope. For others, it intensified hate. But what role did mainstream political rhetoric play in fueling subsequent violent racially charged incidents? On today’s episode of A Word, guest host Ahyiana Angel is joined by Wesley Lowery, journalist and author of American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and t…
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Oklahoma’s legendary “Black Wall Street” was destroyed in the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. Hundreds of victims were murdered and dumped in mass graves, and dozens of homes and businesses were burned to the ground. More than a century later, three survivors remain, fighting for justice. But their lawsuit seeking reparations was recently dealt a blow in c…
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Barbie is more than a toy. She’s an icon, and now the focus of a blockbuster film. For generations, Barbie has helped define all-American beauty, often leaving girls who weren’t blonde, thin, and white feeling invisible. But that began to change in the 1980’s with the introduction of Black Barbies. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joi…
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It can take years for a water crisis in a predominantly Black city or town to make national news. But contaminated water often harms communities for generations. Beyond the ongoing health threats, dirty water can stifle business and economic development, driving down educational achievement, property values and investment. On today’s episode of A W…
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As this year’s LGBTQ Pride Month ends, transgender Americans find themselves under political attack. At the same time, a number of transgender creatives are thriving, building bright careers and awareness of their community. Actress and activist Angelica Ross is one of those artists. She joins journalist Aisha Mills, who is filling in as host, on t…
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During this LGBTQ Pride month, many members of the community are reflecting on a year of unprecedented political and legal attacks. One of the biggest battlefields has been in public schools and libraries, where books featuring LGBTQ stories have been the targets of censors. On today’s episode of A Word, guest host journalist Aisha Mills is joined …
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Police killings of Black men have their own grim, but established, rituals in American society. But what happens to those who survive police violence? On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Leon Ford, who survived being shot multiple times by Pittsburgh police more than a decade ago. In his new memoir An Unspeakable Hope, Ford can…
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Weeks into the Hollywood writers strike, and there’s no sign of a settlement. WGA members say that studio chiefs are using artificial intelligence, streaming, and other methods to undervalue their work. And a wealth of already produced content, along with the misconception that writers are well paid, could minimize sympathy from fans. On today’s ep…
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Every family has secrets. As a girl, Leta McCollough Seletzky learned that her father, Marrell McCollough– was on the scene of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. But it would be years before she learned that he was there as a spy for the Memphis police, who wanted information on King’s local allies. On today’s episode of A Word, she speaks wit…
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The murder of George Floyd prompted a number of American colleges and universities to reckon with their historic roles in slavery. Three years later, many institutions have abandoned those efforts. One that’s still going strong is the Hard Histories Project at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joi…
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Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925, and he remains one of the most polarizing figures of the civil rights movement. An enduring myth from that era is that he and Martin Luther King Jr. were diametrically opposed politically. But the recent revelation that a quote where King condemned Malcolm X was false has prompted a wider reconsideration of his b…
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The persistent stereotype that role-playing, tabletop game players are overwhelmingly white is rooted in race, housing, and history. The suburban homes where people could dedicate a surface to a sprawling, multiplayer board game used to be almost exclusively white. And the knights, wizards, and other fantastic creatures in these games were closely …
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Even classical art can be revolutionary. That was true for violinist Joseph Bologne. He was a biracial musical prodigy who worked and charmed his way into the center of 18th-century French society. But the new film “Chevalier” shows how even his genius couldn’t save him from the poisonous combination of bias and envy. On today’s episode of A Word, …
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April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance month, and might be the only time of year when many Americans think about neurodiversity. But for many families, receiving an autism diagnosis for a child can set off an all-consuming search for doctors, therapists, and education that can work for their kids. That’s more complicated for African-American fami…
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the African American community has a complicated relationship with corporal punishment of kids. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Stacey Patton, a writer, child abuse survivor, and the author of Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America. She debunks myths about s…
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The deadline for filing taxes this year is April 18th, and tax season brings on anxiety in lots of Americans. For Black folks, a lack of intergenerational wealth often means fewer contacts and networks that can offer guidance on taxes. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singl…
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Folklorist and Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston made her hometown of Eatonville, Florida famous in her writing, including her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. But her fame hasn’t saved the town from the pressures that many African American communities have endured: a population fighting poverty, government indifference, and developer…
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Baltimore is one of many aging American cities that is plagued with both a lack of affordable housing, and a surplus of vacant homes. But a local non-profit is addressing both those issues, and teaching community members to rebuild their neighborhoods one house at a time. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Shelley Halstead, wh…
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For many people of faith, Holy Week brings the most sacred days of the year. But in 1968, that season was marred by the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., and the violent unrest and riots that followed. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Vann Newkirk II. He’s a senior editor for The Atlantic, and the host of its Holy Week podca…
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For decades, there has been a stigma attached to remaining unmarried and childless in the Black community, particularly for women. But a growing part of the Black middle class is single, childfree adults. Does the trend threaten the future of the Black family, or is it time to recognize a different model for family life? On today’s episode of A Wor…
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