Writer Tag

Black Is Beautiful 2023 – Charles Johnson


Charles Johnson was born in 1948 in Evanston IL. At an early age he showed an interest in drawing. He began his career as a cartoonist in high school drawing as a student of Lawrence Lariar. He won two competitions for his work from Columbia Scholastic Press. An adult discouraged him from pursuing art primarily so he went to school for journalism, continuing to draw, and pound the pavement in NY to get gigs. In that time while working for Chicago Tribune he saw a talk by Amiri Baraka and was inspired to do more cartooning about Black history and to reflect the times. He then worked Ebony and Jet magazine publishing cartoon strips and illustrations. 
I picked up his book “All Your Racial Problems Will Soon End” and was inspired by the drawings he’d done in the 70s. But he didn’t stop there. Inspired by a friend he took creative writing and continued his college education earning a doctorate in Philosophy. Johnson would go on to write for papers like the NY Times and the Wall St Journal. But he also began writing novels such as The Middle Passage, King, and Soul Catcher. He became a professor of creative writing at the University of Washington for more than 30 years. He wrote over 20 scripts for TV, he was awarded by the MacArthur Genius Award, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He’s a buddhist, and is still writing as we speak. 
Sources: The Belief Agency, Wikipedia, oxherdingtale.com
Dig this? Check out my piece about Ruth Carter and Robert Sengstacke Abbott

Kindred Journey 36 – Rocky Rivera

The majority of my community knows this phenomenal artist, but let me give you a little backstory if you’re unfamiliar. Rocky started her music career officially in the mid 2000’s as one fourth of the group “Rhapsodistas”, then the release of her mixtape “Married to the Hustle”. Since 2008 she’s released a consistent catalogue of EPs, features, mixtapes with DJ Roza, and three full length albums; most recently “Rocky’s Revenge”. Born in the Philippines she came to the US as a child. She and her two sisters gravitated heavily to hip hop. She grew up in the San Francisco, specifically the Excelsior district. A student of journalism Rock has written for publications such as XXL, The Source, Ruckus, and was featured as part of MTV’s “I’m From Rolling Stone” show where she wrote and covered hip hop stories for the magazine. Always a sharp thinker you can hear subjects ranging from religion, colorism, Pinay pride, Filipin@ history, guerilla warfare, revolutionary politics, and feminism to mob music, gold grills, knocking sound systems, and motherhood. Besides being a fierce MC that will rip any rapper and write a rhyme from multiple vantages of a story, she is a super down to earth person who lives what she spits. On any given day you could catch her rocking a show, working with youth, writing a book, attending a protest, organizing, rocking some fly fashion, or just raising her kids with her partner. As someone who always uplifts other women you’ll often see her praising other women too. She is a pioneer that is paving a way and giving other young artists a voice to truly believe in and be inspired by. Ok, please go bump her music, follow, and be a part of new music and writing as a Patreon supporter.
Fav Song: GRLGNG
Sources: Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner, HypeBae, East Bay Express, El Tecolote, Beatrock Music
Did you catch the last one of Deb Never?

Inktober 9 – Lady Pink

Any kid who picked up a mag or saw one of the old flicks back in the day saw this woman’s name and face. Sandra “Pink” Fabara is a writer born in Ecuador and raised in NYC. She started writing in 79 and was one of few women on the scene tearing things up. Still an artist today she has been painting for nearly 40 years on trains, walls, canvas, and digitally. To this day she paints and has exhibited her work world wide while also collaborating with the younger generation. 
Sources: Subway Art, LadyPinkNYC.com, Wild Style

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me info@robdontstop.com