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Johnson addresses challenges, solutions in Post-Obama America

Investigative journalist, political correspondent and activist Jeff Johnson talked on the topic, “Post Obama America” at The Centre at Halifax Community College, Feb. 9.

“Each generation is faced with challenges both socially and politically,” said Johnson. “It’s that generation’s responsibility to meet that challenge with answers, with solutions, with strategies. …Communities and societies are responsible for developing solutions that ultimately make their world look the way they want it to.” He encouraged citizens to engage their elected officials and hold them accountable. He also asked three key questions: Where are we in America post-election as a country? Where are we as black people diasporically? What are some practical recommendations of things that we can do on a local level to create the change that Barack Obama talked about during the election process, but only comes from local communities?

He also asked, “What kind of change do we want to see? In post-Obama America, are we sophisticated enough to do it?” He stressed holding the president to the same standard as any other elected official and to not be fixed on the fact that an African American was elected to the country’s highest office.

Johnson went on to address issues of race, education and incarceration. “We have such a narrow vision in 2009 about who we are as a culture. We have that because even during the month of February, we don’t study our history right. People have Black History Month and don’t know anything about black history,” he added.

Slavery, civil rights, elders vs. old people, black churches, and the Hip Hop culture were also discussed. Johnson addressed important developments throughout black history, going back to biblical times. He advised everyone to think critically about these issues and to check their priorities. “The only thing that matters is—what are you going to do,” he asked.

Johnson has interviewed many in the business, entertainment and political arenas and has published social and political essays for CNN.com, The Root.com and Web.com. He has been quoted in Newsweek and the Boston Globe and contributes commentary and analysis about issues on race, politics, popular culture and socioeconomics on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, and BET News. Johnson is the managing editor and chief correspondent for “The Truth with Jeff Johnson” on BET. He is currently part of the tag-team commentator duo on the nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”

Jeff Johnson