Friday, October 30, 2015
OHLONE MONITOR -- Johnson, who received his doctorate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University, is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at San Francisco State. He won back-to-back national poetry slam championships in 2003 and 2004, and has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.” Johnson focused his poetry on the black community, with pieces titled “cuz he’s black” and the follow-up piece “cuz she’s black.” While the subject is very solemn, he allows a balance of humor in his pieces that is refreshing and emphasizes the ability to laugh and smile in the face of oppression and pain. Other pieces touched on the subjects of love, relationships, education and his future daughter. Johnson filled the time between his poems with some light-hearted stories. He spoke of his first-grade love, a man who attacked him with a water gun, his tendency to read and watch television at the same time and ex-girlfriends.