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.
J. Chester Johnson Interviewed by Tavis Smiley
Cornelius Eady's Interview of J. Chester Johnson for Poets House/WBAI "Open House" Program
NPR Article on Elaine and Tulsa Race Massacres
History News Network Publishes Article by J. Chester Johnson on Lunches with Father of Black Liberation Theology
Favorable Review of "Damaged Heritage" in Current Issue of American Book Review
Damaged Heritage Placed On Selective Goodreads’ List of Best Nonfiction Books
Damaged Heritage Motivates Nationwide Talks on Social Justice and Racial Equity
J. Chester Johnson Writes in the ARKANSAS TIMES About Another Arkansas Race Massacre
Video of J. Chester Johnson’s presentation at Johnson House Historic Site (Underground Railroad).
Book Review from Green Mountains Review of "Damaged Heritage"
Flying Into the Unpredictable: Publishing During a Pandemic
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Remembering the Elaine Massacre
Cornelius Eady and J. Chester Johnson Discuss Their 9/11 Poetry On BCR’s Inaugural Poetry Podcast
LitHub: J. Chester Johnson Interviewed for ‘Keen On’ Podcast About Damaged Heritage
Literary Hub Shares Excerpt From Damaged Heritage by J. Chester Johnson