Ain’t Never Not Been Black

Javon Johnson



Ain't Never Not Been Black foregrounds Black pleasure Black pain and Black love in unflinchingly Black ways. Engaging with themes of masculinity, racism, love, and joy, Johnson is at once critical and creative. His spoken word performance transfers effortlessly to the page, with poems that will encompass you. This is a book about blackness and survival, and how in America these are inseparable. In a world of individualism, who can you hold close? In a world of danger, what makes you feel safe? From a poem written in the form of a syllabus, to another about the time his grandmother literally saved his life, Johnson's creative expression is constantly enacting the feminist mantra, “the personal is political."
Contributor Bio(s)
Javon Johnson is a highly awarded poet, and Professor of African American Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He wrote Killing Poetry: Performing Blackness, Poetry Slams and the Making of Spoken Word Communities (Rutgers University Press). Javon writes for The Huffington Post, The Root, and Our Weekly, and serves on the editorial board for Text & Performance Quarterly. Professor Johnson has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, BET's Lyric Café, TVOnes Verses & Flow, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and co-wrote a documentary titled Crossover, which aired on Showtime, in collaboration with the NBA and Nike.
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