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, [...]

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 [...]

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.   [...]

13. Transition,Secrets & Misplaced Loyalties  

By |2021-03-22T03:00:49+00:00January 18th, 2021|Uncategorized|

 In January 1949, soon after Ma moved to Brooklyn, New York with my sister, Eleanor, she found employment at a hospital for the mentally ill. Then, a month or so before I graduated from Boston’s English High School (EHS)she purchased a brownstone house at 669 Park Place in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Eleanor enrolled in a nursing school, where she earned her certificate as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Calvin served the entire nine months of his sentence at the  Deer Island House of Correction for stabbing his former wife, never expressing remorse for his conduct.   In the weeks leading up to my relocation to Brooklyn, I was apprehensive, to say the least, about my future. I didn’t want to leave my lifelong friends and familiar Roxbury surroundings. How would I adapt to the unknown and uncertainties of life in Brooklyn.  Ma earnestly, but unconvincingly, tried to portray Brooklyn in a positive light, telling me, “It’s just like Boston.”  and “You’ll love our new home.”   I wasn't at all persuaded that Brooklyn would, in effect, be my Promised Land.  Her words left [...]