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Fern L. Johnson
Fern Johnson is Professor of English and Communication and Culture at Clark University (Worcester, MA). She specializes in the study of race, ethnicity, and gender in discourse. Her most recent research has focused on language policies in the U.S. and the E.U. in the context of the growth of multilingualism. The author of Speaking Culturally: Language Diversity in the United States and Imaging in Advertising: Verbal and Visual Codes of Commerce, her new book, TheTransracial Adoption Option: Creating a Family Across Race, was written with Marlene Fine. Contact her at

Entries by Fern L. Johnson

No Real Conversation About Race

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 2:09 PM

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin. Who is next?

We're the white mothers of two African American sons in their 20s. We've always been aware that, as Bruce Springsteen poignantly wrote, our sons could "get killed just for living in [their] American skin." Our fear and...

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The Trifecta of Race in America

(16) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 5:17 PM

Race and charges of racism continue to dominate the headlines in the U.S., with December turning out to be the "trifecta" of race in America. In early December, it was "Affluenza" -- not immediately coded for race, but yet a story with race in the background. A Texas judge sentenced...

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When White Parents Have 'The Talk' With Black Sons

(18) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 3:38 PM

Co-authored with Fern L. Johnson

"The Talk" is back. No, it's not a new movie or book, it's the dreaded but essential conversation every black parent knows must happen with their child, especially the boys, to explain what it means to be black in this country.

"The Talk" poses a...

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