About Lloyd Johnson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Lloyd Johnson has created 32 blog entries.


By |2021-03-21T21:43:58+00:00January 31st, 2021|introduction, Lloyd Johnson|

To Dad and Alijah  * If you are standing out in a crowd it is only because you are standing on the shoulders of others.  –Desmond Tutu     * I’m in the sunset of a pretty good life, and despite some mistakes, I’m in a good place.   I’m blessed with a loving wife, a wonderful daughter, granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter who’s got a bright future. I’m not worried about my next meal or a roof over my head. I’m respected in my community, liked by the people who mean the most to me, and [...]

1. Early Recollections

By |2021-03-21T22:35:45+00:00January 30th, 2021|Uncategorized|

I’m what was called a “Depression baby,” born on August 5, 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression. America. The world, was in a free-fall. Stock market had crashed. Massive unemployment, no “safety net”, soup kitchens, riots. My parents, Clarence and Louise (Dixon) Johnson were Jamaican immigrants, important roots for my life, as it turned out. I was the “baby” of our family, preceded by my older brother, Calvin, and sister, Eleanor. We lived in a single family, four-story, brownstone, semi-attached building, built in 1871, at 14 Linwood Square, [...]

2. Childhood Beyond The Schoolroom

By |2021-03-21T22:37:49+00:00January 29th, 2021|essay 2, Lloyd Johnson|

  Lloyd Johnson, c 1936 Toward the end of my kindergarten year at the Nathan Hale School, Ma summarily announced that I wouldn’t return there in the fall, supposedly because my first-grade teacher was “deaf.” Her rationale escaped me then, but at age 4 who was I to question her decision. Since then, I have come to think that, from Ma’s point of view, “deaf” meant that that teacher was wearing a hearing aid.   She declared that I would start the first grade at the Louis Prang School on Washington Street near Dudley Square. Louis Prang was a Boston printer [...]

3. My Family

By |2021-03-21T22:38:47+00:00January 28th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Lloyd c. 1942 My childhood was marked by screaming and what seemed like perpetual ongoing arguments between Ma and Dad. Their fights never became physical. But, no matter. Their relationship was angry, vitriolic, and liable to erupt at any time. Their arguments contributed to my shyness. I often contrasted my parents’ dysfunctional relationship to the perceived loving relationships of my friends’ parents. Eventually, I even avoided bringing my friends by our home, fearful of exposing them to my family demons.   Ma and Dad were like oil and water. They didn’t mix. They seemed to have little in common other than the fact that they each emigrated from Jamaica in search of a better economic future. They shared few interests – Ma’s social life centered on her family; Dad’s among his workplace [...]

4. Troubles & Mixed Blessings

By |2021-03-21T22:41:46+00:00January 27th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

Ma c. 1985 Los Angeles, CA To say that Ma and Dad didn’t get along is an understatement. Yes, they both loved us unreservedly, but their frequent verbal altercations, though never becoming physical, scarred us all. They seemed to argue almost incessantly, at all hours. More than once, in the wee hours of the morning, I was awakened by their loud, bitter arguments. I have no idea what their arguments were about. I know that Dad liked to play the numbers and gambled on horse and dog races. [...]

5. Becoming Socially Aware

By |2021-03-21T21:48:50+00:00January 26th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

My Truth: My Journey Toward Servant Leadership    Lloyd c. 1942 By the time I was 8 years old, Dad and I often engaged in conversations about politics and social inequality. Dad seemed to take quiet pride in our spirited one-to-one political conversations. I loved the opportunity to test my ideas – no matter how flawed -- in healthy debate. I still do.   Once I had the temerity to challenge his political judgment; Dad supported Boston’s Mayor James M. Curley, a Democratic political icon in the first half of the 20th century, who served part of his fourth term as mayor in prison for mail fraud.    Dad’s reply to Mayor Curley’s shortcomings was to ask me, rhetorically, who [...]

6. Church

By |2021-03-21T22:13:52+00:00January 25th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

My Truth: My Journey Toward Servant Leadership  St. Cyp’s Church. Roxbury, MA   “St. Cyp’s” and “Fergie.” They were the loving nicknames of our mother church, our family church -- that is St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church --and our pastor there, The Rev. David Leroy Ferguson. Those nicknames speak to the extent that our faith community was our community, an integral part of our extended family, our village.  St. Cyp’s was a product of white racism. As former British colonials, almost everyone in Boston’s West Indian immigrant community was a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion and had an unwavering tradition of Sunday worship. However, these early 20th century Caribbean immigrants worshiped in the evening, unlike most churches.    Why? A large number of Boston’s West Indian community, especially women, were employed as live-in, domestic servants and nannies in the homes of Boston’s wealthy. Their schedules were such that they were unable to gather [...]

7. Gathering Storm & World War II

By |2021-03-21T22:43:10+00:00January 24th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

EUROPE’S WAR  We had no television during much of my childhood and certainly no internet or social media. We got our news through the radio, several of Boston’s daily newspapers, and the weekly newsreels at the movie theaters. And it was through those weekly newsreels that I learned about the horror of the World War II in Europe and Asia, especially Germany's bombing of London and other major cities in the United Kingdom, known as the “Battle of Britain.”  We dehumanized the Japanese people (“Japs”), portraying them as slant-eyed, buck-toothed, bespectacled, evil, inhuman monsters who slaughtered innocent civilians. The German people, on the other [...]

8. The Dudley School 

By |2021-03-21T21:52:39+00:00January 23rd, 2021|Uncategorized|

My Truth: My Journey Toward Servant Leadership  Lloyd's 4th grade clessLloyd, top row, 5th rightDudley SchoolRoxbury,'MA   Completing the third grade at the Louis Prang School in June,1939, was like I had “maxed out” of -- that is, completed -- a three-year prison sentence. In the fall, I rejoined many my friends at the Dudley School, our neighborhood’s fourth through sixth grade elementary school.   The school’s demographics reflected our Roxbury neighborhood – overwhelmingly white - my “normal” throughout my public school career. The terms “integration” or “desegregation” were non-existent for me and other Black kids in our neighborhood   It was simply “school”. Black teachers were a rarity. One day, I had a Black teacher – a substitute. Most of my Black friends never saw a single Black teacher in twelve years.   [...]

9. The Hill

By |2021-03-22T02:17:38+00:00January 22nd, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

Street sceneBlue Hill Ave. & Quincy St.Roxbury, MA C. 1947Note demographics I was apprehensive about our move to this strange new neighborhood. It was called “The Hill” and its residents were overwhelmingly white, predominantly Jewish. I didn’t know anyone there and we were the only Black family on our new street, Walnut Park. I was afraid that this move would replicate my experience at the Louis Prang School where, as the only Black kid in my class, I was isolated and picked on.  Our new home at 61 [...]