Attica Prison

19. Accountability & All in for Equality

By |2021-03-22T03:07:37+00:00January 12th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

ACCOUNTABILITY    Any expectation that after two stints in jail, my older brother had left his violent criminal behavior behind him were for naught in May 1959.   Late in 1958, Calvin’s second wife executed a carefully choreographed plan and left him for parts unknown because of his long-term abuse. She and I had had a close relationship, and I never for a millisecond doubted her when she finally told me about his abusive behavior. Like so many such victims, she had kept his abuse to herself for many years.   In the early evening of Saturday, May 31, 1959, Calvin burst into her brother’s home and murdered him, shooting him six times before his mother, wife, and child. We never learned specifically what had motivated this horrific killing. Calvin was seriously wounded by the police in the course of his arrest, survived and was tried convicted, and sentenced to 40 years to life imprisonment. The sentence was reduced on appeal to 20 years to life, almost all [...]

22. New Directions

By |2021-03-22T03:10:55+00:00January 9th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

AT THE URBAN CENTER  Inwardly, I was apprehensive about succeeding Franklin H. Williams as the director of Columbia University’s Urban Center. Physically, he had a commanding presence. He exuded self-confidence. He had been the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, and he was used to dealing with people at the highest levels of government, nationally and internationally. A lawyer, he had successfully argued several civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.   I had none of these, nor the academic credentials to compete inside an Ivy League University. I wasn’t the product of the Ivy League nor had I earned the Ph.D. -- the gold standard of academic degrees and very important in any Ivy League university, then and now.   But I kept my uncertainties to myself and fell back on a tenet of my social [...]