Myles E. Johnson

Writer/Editor

“The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible.” – Toni Cade Bambara

As a child, I was a ghost desperately waiting to be actualized. I was a desperate child. I was desperate to be seen. Imagine being told you do not exist, and believing them. You think to yourself that you are the only person that has experienced this emotion and impulse. No one else on the face of the Earth has skin that has felt the sun or gravity how you have, you think. This was my experience consuming content at the intersection of black and queerness. The feeling of invisibility deepened throughout my life until I ventured outside of the library that I was given. I went into the city of Atlanta as a teenager and found a library specific for people of the LGBT community called Outwrite Bookstore. There was a section specifically for Black literature. In that moment, I believe, I was born. I bought everything I could afford and came back for what I could not. This experience informed my passion for writing and creating media that spoke to and for the Black queer community. This passion has never left and has informed my writing as of today.

Today as an adult, I exist just as thirsty to create, but my desperation has been replaced with determination. It is this determination that had made me release essays critiquing current events, create fictional content for both children and adults that center marginalized identities, create workshops that center community and creativity for black children, and develop creative writing courses for charter schools that disrupts the marginalized child’s belief that they cannot be centered in their own writing without considering the gaze of those that dominate you. My dream is to replace other people’s desperation with determination and empowerment, as well.

I’d like to keep this desperate child in mind while visiting bell hooks’ quote, “When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, and we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us.” The goal, for me, is to not only learn how to drop fear, but move nearer to truly revolutionary, transformative, empowering, and entertaining work. This, to me, is the nature of the revolution that I believe can cause massive changes in the world. This is the revolution that cannot be voted for or against. This is the revolution that happens underneath your skin, regardless if your state is blue or red. This is my obsession and purpose, and my life’s work is to make it irresistible.

Portfolio

Published Work

Opinion | Beyoncé and the End of Respectability Politics
Beyoncé is at the pinnacle of her career. At the Coachella festival in the Southern California desert on Saturday, she showed that there's nothing this mother of three can't do....
What Beyoncé Won Was Bigger Than a Grammy
Historically, whiteness does not reward black defiance. Surely we know that a culture that forgot Zora Neale Hurston until Alice Walker returned her to glory in her work...
What Serena Williams Shows Us About Black Women And Motherhood
Photo courtesy of Instagram @serenawilliams Serena Williams is looking toward the future, bare-naked against a gray background on the cover of Vanity Fair 's August issue. She...
OPINION: On Edward Crawford, Mental Health and the Black Community - Reimagining Black Suicide
Suicide in the Black community may be a difficult concept to understand, but it should never be assumed to be cowardly. Last summer was smoldering hot and my ideas were...
Little Richard's Traumatic Black, Queer Childhood Helped Mold Rock 'N' Roll
In 2000, The Donny & Marie Osmond Show interviewed Little Richard which led to one of his most candid reflections on his childhood and relationship to masculinity. In front of a...
The Unrelenting Duality Of Janelle Monae Is Finally Stripped Away On 'Dirty Computer'
On "Sally Ride" Janelle Monae coos: "Wake up, Mary, have you heard the news? Wake up, Mary, you have the right to choose." Monae is speaking to the Madonna, The Virgin Mary,...
The Deeply American Appeal of Donald Glover
Over the weekend, Donald Glover released his latest visual "This is America" accompanied with a sing-rap song that sounds like something you'd expect as Pharrell's next...
The Ghost of Big Freedia
Drake: Photo by Ethan Miller/BBMA2017/Getty Images, Big Freedia: Photo by Scott Dudelson / Getty Images), Beyonce: "Formation" Video In the first scene of Drake's "Nice For...
Cardi B And Kim Kardashian Never Asked To Be Politicized
The internet is a capricious beast; someone can go from deified to vilified in a matter of minutes. Kim Kardashian and rapper Cardi B, whose single "Bodak Yellow" just made the...
Gucci Ruined Culture by Suing Dapper Dan, Now They're Ruining It by Ripping Him Off
Black cultural productions are often misinterpreted. This is to be expected because the intentions of why things are created move depending on the identity creating it; some...
Thoughts Can Do Harm: In Defense of 'Policing' Our Fantasies
I wanted to kill my boyfriend in ways that let me observe his suffering and return the power in our relationship to my hands. The thought crossed my mind in the heat of an...
Justin Timberlake's "Return to Whiteness" Is Super Problematic
It was 2002, and Justin Timberlake needed a breakthrough. The era of boy bands was on the way out, and his NSYNC-approved, white boy-next-door image was expiring. The paradigm...
What Is Jimmy Fallon's Political Silence Costing The Roots?
The audience roars and claps their hands manically; the band plays; the host tells jokes. This is the recipe for the late-night show that has worked for decades now. When Jimmy...
Black Gay Lives Matter-And Our Deaths Can't Be Ignored Anymore
The grief and tragic energy around any murder can make one forget the political potential each one possesses. And in the wake of recent heightened media attention around...
Did Eminem And Elton John's 2001 Grammys Performance Of 'Stan' Inadvertently Normalize Homophobia?
In 2001, I was 11 years old and my queerness was something that lived underneath my skin like a shark fin that terrified me every time it came to the surface. I was experiencing...
"Moonlight" is 2016's best movie, but its impact on black storytelling is much more important
As a thought experiment, I sometimes ask myself, "What would they say about me if I were killed?" I know how other black children, often killed by the state, are treated by the...
Catapult | A Million Tiny Resurrections: On Microaggressions and Survival | Myles E. Johnson
sometimes when I wake up in the morning and see all the faces I just can't breathe -Nikki Giovanni I wake up and pour myself tea because I have bullied myself out of drinking...
'The Stonewall Riots could only be started by someone who was tired and black'
By throwing the first brick, Marsha Johnson bonded the LGBTQ movement to the Long Hot Summer of 1967 The first thing I noticed about the Greenwich Village neighborhood in New...
A Clockwork Trauma | Bitch Media
This is one of three personal essays Bitch Media is publishing today to reflect on the one-month anniversary of the Orlando Pulse shooting. This essay includes racial and...
Decaying Hope
"Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them!" - Oscar Wilde...
Lil' Kim, Colorism & Sexual Revolution
I missed the sexual revolutions sparked by Betty Davis and Grace Jones...but I was born just in time for Lil' Kim. With my palms over my eyes, I'd look through the cracks of my...
Is 'Moonlight' Hollywood's Best Film Of 2016? [Review]
Days after I saw an advanced screening of Moonlight at Morehouse College, I felt haunted. I felt haunted by nothingness and silence. I tried to exercise this muted demon. I...
MY ACTIVISM: Mychal Denzel Smith
Illustration by Donte Neal When cultural cleanses are under way, one of the first things burned to the ground are the libraries. It makes sense. In the library, the Gods,...
Mark Anthony Green Talks 'Fair Use Vol. 1' [Interview]
The ways we archive blackness should be as dynamic, infinite and mutable as blackness itself. The way we preserve blackness should also be as dynamic, infinite and mutable as...
Loneliness is a Starstruck Thing
It is June and this summer is unlike any summer I have known before. This summer, I am honest. This summer, I am not pretending that I am riding waves when I am drowning in lake...
Domination as a Bedfellow
If I say that I love myself three times while looking in the mirror, perhaps Nina Simone will appear, pull me by my neck, and drag me into my own reflection. She can drag my...

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