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Remember, when we have “the talk” with our Black sons


Javon Johnson is an Assistant Professor and Director of African American &
African Diaspora studies and holds an appointment in Gender & Sexuality
Studies in the Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Department at the
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his Ph.D. in Performance Studies
with a certificate in Gender Studies and Cognate in African American Studies
from Northwestern University in 2010. Dr. Johnson’s scholarly interests include
performance, blackness, African American literature, black pop culture, slam
and spoken word, black feminist theory, black queer theory, masculinity studies,
black sexualities, and ethnography.

Dr. Johnson’s first book, Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and
Spoken Word Communities (Rutgers University Press 2017), unpacks some of
the complicated issues that comprise performance poetry spaces and argues
that the truly radical potential in slam and spoken word communities lies not just
in proving literary worth, speaking back to power, or even in altering power
structures, but instead in imagining and working towards altogether different
social relationships. His second project, The End of Chiraq: A Literary
Mixtape (Northwestern University Press (2018) is a co-edited book that critically
creatively explores Chiraq (a name that is an amalgamation of Chicago and Iraq
as a way to call to the violence of certain parts of Chicago) as a space and as a
term. Additionally, Dr. Johnson has published in Text & Performance
Quarterly, Liminalities, QED: A Journal of Queer Worldmaking, The
Root, Huffington Post, and others.

Currently finishing up his first book of poems, Dr. Johnson is a creative scholar
who has mounted exhibitions at the California African American Museum where
he managed the History Department. A renowned spoken word poet, he is a
three-time national poetry slam champion, a four-time national finalist, and has
appeared on appeared on HBO’sDef Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café, TVOnes
Verses & Flow, The Steve Harvey Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, United Shades
of America with Kamau Bell on CNN, and co-wrote a documentary titled
Crossover, which aired on Showtime, in collaboration with the NBA and Nike.

BTS making of Voicemail To My Future Self