Posts from March 2017

March 2, 2017

Reflection and Reconciliation: The Elaine Race Massacre – Delta Cultural Center, Arkansas, April 23

J. Chester Johnson returned to the site of the 1919 Elaine Race Massacre, one of the deadliest assaults on African-Americans in our country’s history. Mr. Johnson has written articles and other pieces on the event and has presented on the subject in various venues, but this time, he discussed the event and its ramifications in Phillips County, Arkansas, where the Massacre actually occurred. J. Chester Johnson, whose maternal grandfather participated, was joined in the presentation by Sheila Walker, whose family members, including her great-grandmother and great uncles, were among the victims. Since Sheila and Chester had antecedents representing the two sides of the conflagration, they have, over the last several years, committed to a reconciliation of the inter-racial and generational trauma that has been associated with the event. Much in the presentations recited the stories and history in each of their respective families related to the Massacre, but the journey of reconciliation between Sheila and Chester was also given special relevance. A reception was held immediately following the presentation at Beth El Heritage Hall, located at the corner of Perry and Pecan, Helena, Arkansas.

Video Courtesy of Delta Cultural Center.


March 1, 2017

MULTI-MEDIA PERFORMANCE: PERSONA VOICES FROM THE LITERARY WORK, “ELAINE RACE MASSACRE”

This Literary Work Written by J. Chester Johnson.
Performance Was Held At Trinity Church (Wall Street and Broadway in downtown Manhattan):
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH.


Many consider the Elaine Race Massacre of 1919 to be the single most violent attack against African-Americans in our country’s history – certainly over the period from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. The massacre occurred on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River Delta over the course of several days in late September-early October, 1919, when more than a hundred and possibly hundreds of African-Americans were killed by white posses and federal troops in response to an attempt by the local black sharecroppers to unionize. Out of the massacre, a legal case arose, Moore v. Dempsey, involving six sharecroppers convicted of murder in unfair and rapid trials immediately following the massacre; in 1923, the U. S. Supreme Court decided on behalf of the sharecroppers to expand, for the first time, the federal government’s role in equal protection under the law for all citizens of the nation, pursuant to the 14th amendment. This Supreme Court precedent proved monumental for the civil rights movement and for future decisions that relied on the doctrine of equal protection under the law.

The persona voices heard at the performance included, among others, victims of the massacre, members of the Supreme Court, and the genuine American hero, Scipio Africanus Jones, the African-American lawyer from Little Rock who represented the sharecroppers.

Prose, poetry, music, dance, and visual arts were part of the performance, including Broadway performers.


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J. Chester Johnson Presented At The Troubadour And At Grosvenor Chapel.


J. Chester Johnson Presents on Auden, the Psalms, and Me in London and in Oxford


A Review of Auden, the Psalms, and Me – Posted On The Florida Diocese of the Episcopal Church Website


The Magazine, Talisman, Recently Reviewed Auden, The Psalms, And Me.


Review of Presentation by J. Chester Johnson on His Two Recent Books, Now And Then: Selected Longer Poems and Auden, the Psalms, and Me, held at The Culture Center, NYC


American Book Review Features Poetry of J. Chester Johnson


J. Chester Johnson Makes Three Presentations As McMichael Lecturer – Fayetteville, Arkansas


J. Chester Johnson Is Guest for National Radio Interviews on “Ed Tyll Show” - 1/11/18


J. Chester Johnson Presenting His Two Newest Books at Poet's House


Video for Auden, the Psalms, and Me authored by J. Chester Johnson


J. Chester Johnson Interviewed on the Televised ‘In The Arena’ Program


Save the Dates!
Upcoming Events Related To My Two Books Published In 2017


Distinguished Alumnus J. Chester Johnson spoke on April 26th & 27th, 2017 at the University of Arkansas


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