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S2:E27 Toni Ann Johnson I You Have To Go Deeper

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"Unapologetic in her due process, not waiting, not stopping, not pausing. If we don't do that, it won't get told. It won't get bought. We all know that we've submitted our various original pieces over the decades, mind you. Just sit down and do it ourselves, tell our stories and presume, not governed by the dollar but by the authenticity of the narrative, that there is an audience waiting."   Ambassador Shabazz              

Coming of age born smack in the middle of the baby boomer generation means growing up in America during and following the Civil Rights movement. The children of that time lived through a country in turmoil. Aside from the battle against the disenfranchisement of African Americans, war and assassinations wreaked havoc on the collective social consciousness while culture evolved as culture does, despite the growing pains along the way.

My guest, Toni Ann Johnson, is a baby boomer and award-winning author. Her latest work titled Light Skin Gone to Waste was awarded the 2021 Flannery O'Connor Award and features stories that “delve into how racist ideas burrow into black and white families and infect them for generations. This linked collection is inspired by Johnson's experience growing up in a middle-class black family, living in a white working-class town in mid-century upstate New York.”

The stories begin in 1962 amid the tumult of desegregation, while detailing the divide between class, race, gender, and how they affect this family. I related to this excellent book on multiple levels. Toni Ann's meticulous development of these characters and her recall of cultural touchstones are rich and spot on.

Previous works include the novel Remedy for Broken Angel, nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, and Homegoing that won Accents Publishing’s inaugural novella contest. As a screenwriter, she is a two-time winner of the prestigious Humanitas Prize for her screenplays. Ruby Bridges and Crown Heights.

I have admired Toni Ann's work for some time. It gives me, your host Brad Johnson, great pleasure to welcome her to Corner Table Talk.

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LinkedIn: Brad Johnson


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Theme Music: Bryce Vine

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