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Theodore Johnson
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Theodore R. Johnson is freelance writer and recipient of a White House Fellowship.

Ted can be found on Twitter at @T_R_Johnson_III and reached at

Entries by Theodore Johnson

The Nation Is Not Listening

(6) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 10:56 AM

As has long been the case, the visual of America's black citizenry splayed in protest has elicited the standard calls for a national "conversation" on race. When the riots in Los Angeles followed the acquittal of the police officers who'd beaten Rodney King, it was supposed to spark...

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What Kind of Slave Would You Have Been?

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 4:59 PM

While on a cross-country flight a few days ago, the lady beside me decided the movie that would best entertain her during the five-hour journey was the tragic, Oscar-winning movie about Negroes in servitude -- 12 Years a Slave. There she sat sipping a soda in the middle seat of...

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What Black History Month Should Be

(1) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 10:49 AM

Black History Month is upon us once again, and with it comes a parade of facts to enlighten the nation on the contributions blacks have made to America. There will be children reciting famous lines from "I Have A Dream," high school students writing about George Washington Carver and his...

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The Conversation Will Not Be Televised

(12) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 5:10 PM

Early this morning, I saw a black teenager in a hoodie running down the sidewalk. As he approached a young white woman out on her morning jog, I awaited the inevitable commentary on race in America sure to play out.

The president's unexpected White House press briefing last Friday...

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China, Bacon and the Evolution of Uncle Sam

(6) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Sam Wilson was a New York meat-packer who was responsible for sending 2,000 barrels of pork, each stamped with the letters "U.S.," to American troops fighting the War of 1812. Though an acronym for the United States, it soon came to stand for a term of endearment for Mr. Wilson...

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President Obama and the New Talented Tenth

(43) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 6:29 PM

President Obama's commencement address at Morehouse College, the nation's only all-male historically black college, was a call to action to for its graduates to be local, national and international leaders. It was mostly well-received, but his reference to the "Talented Tenth" -- the antique notion that the black...

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Racism in 2013?? Just Get Over It!

(114) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 11:16 AM

In a recent article written about the African-American-watermelon stereotype for Huffington Post/TEDWeekends, I wrote that its deep iconography persists years after it should have spoiled and died on the vine. A noticeable amount of feedback on the article charged me with resurrecting typecasts long overcome, finding racism where...

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African Americans and the Watermelon Stereotype

(513) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 11:08 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

A photo of my expecting mother eating a slice of watermelon is a family favorite. She attributes my lifelong disdain for the fruit to the fact...

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Hey Republicans, Great New Strategy -- But Before You Bet on Blacks...

(54) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 12:20 PM

One would think that a pro-defense family man raised in a red-state, Southern Baptist household would be easy pickings for the Republican Party. Last October while out checking the mailbox, however, canvassers clad in Romney paraphernalia walked right past me without so much as a hello. Maybe it was just...

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Kiss Me, I'm 1/16 Irish: African-, Irish-, and the Hyphenated-Americans

(137) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 12:04 PM

Years ago, I spent Saint Patrick's Day in an Irish pub singing ditties with a restaurant full of my newest friends -- and left feeling a little green with envy. The Irish-American traditions and fare were in full swing and exposed me to a culture I'd never really considered while...

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The 'Moon Speech' Must Go Green

(6) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 2:25 PM

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to sustainable energy and addressing climate change in his inaugural address. Though he noted the transition will be extended and difficult, the words that rang truest were these: "we must lead it."

That declaration, however, cannot be the exclamation point; it is only the...

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In Black and White: Race and the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

(8) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 9:36 AM

As debate over the economy's handling and prospects lumbers on, many are wondering if President Obama is too socially aloof to overcome the impasse with the Republican-led House. In Monday's press conference, a reporter offered that the president's insularity and antisocial nature is no longer conjecture, but a truism. The...

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Lead the World By Example: Reauthorize VAWA

(37) Comments | Posted January 4, 2013 | 4:16 PM

The world paused with shock when news of the ghastly assault on a woman riding New Delhi public transportation recently came to light. The young student nicknamed Nirbhaya -- a Sanskrit word meaning fearless -- succumbed to injuries she sustained during a brutal gang rape by six men who took...

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Do We Still Need Kwanzaa?

(305) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 12:04 PM

The day after Christmas, many African-Americans will spend the ensuing week donning kaftans and kente cloth, gathering around a kinara and communal cup, and lighting red, black, and green candles. This is done in celebration of Kwanzaa, an observance that began in 1966 as a way African-Americans could honor and...

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We Don't Need A National Conversation on Guns

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 9:53 AM

Friday's horrible shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School spiraled the nation into deep mourning and sent us searching for answers. While the community in and around Newtown, Connecticut deals with incredible loss and begins living in a world that will never be quite the same, the rest of the nation...

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How Republicans Can Win Black Votes: Step One

(71) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 11:53 AM

Author's note: While many around the country are arguing that the future of the Republican Party lies in its ability to attract the Hispanic vote, it is the party's inability to attract black voters that is its true hindrance. Hispanics certainly help election math, but blacks assist in the more...

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Is Energy Obama's Internet?

(18) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 3:53 PM

The nation's economy may have just received the fuel it needs to accelerate growth. The recently released World Energy Outlook report by the International Energy Agency brings the decades-old dream of American energy independence one step closer to reality.

Advancements in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have freed up a tremendous...

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