Posts from July 2020

July 23, 2020

J. Chester Johnson Presents Damaged Heritage to the Washington National Cathedral, Sunday, June 28th

A world-wide audience heard J. Chester Johnson discuss his newest book, Damaged Heritage, through the National Cathedral on Sunday afternoon, June 28th. Utilizing the internet, the Cathedral brought together attendees from Europe and Africa, in addition to the United States, to experience Johnson’s comments about Damaged Heritage, published on May 5th by Pegasus (distributed by Simon & Schuster). The Elaine Race Massacre, possibly the most significant racial attack against African-Americans in our country’s history, occurred in the early fall of 1919 along the Mississippi River Delta in rural Phillips County, Arkansas. This Massacre serves as the backdrop for Johnson’s memoir that recounts the effects of having grown up in southeast Arkansas, one county removed from the site of the Massacre, and an especially racist region of the country. A large part of the book reflects Johnson’s own views on the causation of generational repetition of American white racism. In addition, the book, as recounted by Johnson, describes a journey of racial reconciliation between himself and Sheila L. Walker, who wrote the Foreword to Damaged Heritage and who had several ancestors that were victims of the Massacre. For the last six years, Sheila Walker and Johnson have pursued a course that has led to an abiding friendship, though the two came from the two sides of the Elaine conflagration. He discussed with the audience how that friendship has now included the respective spouses and children in the process of achieving reconciliation.