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

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...
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...
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...
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...
"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...
OkayMuva: How We're Still Living in A World Crafted by Tiffany 'New York' Pollard
"My mind, it amazes me sometimes." - Tiffany 'New York' Pollard Few people commanded the public's attention in the age of reality television like Tiffany 'New York' Pollard. She...
Summer Seekers #1: Running Away
As a child, I never had the guts to run. I was only brave enough to look outside my window, dream and wait for an escape. My bedroom floor was littered with magazines and...
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...
Reading came first: how I journeyed from hotep to Black queer feminist
"Solitude can be a must-be-desired condition. In silence, we listen to ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God." - Maya Angelou The search, as it were,...
OkayMuva: The Sum of Everything - How Diverse Whiteness Gets To Exist in Art
Nobody told me how I'd find peace in New York City. More often, people would remind me that there will be rats and high cost for cigarettes, but nobody went deep into how...
OkayMuva: Going In On Jordan Peele's 'Get Out'
In the height of the movie, the white father in Get Out named Dean (played by Bradley Whitford) poses the question to a now terrified Chris ( Daniel Kaluuya) that is the...
A Planet Called Kelis: On Super Shooting Stars and Universes
Every universe has their big bang - a moment where everything collides, and a new genesis is born. Each piece and parcel, in existence before the new creation, conspires to make...
Dave Chappelle and Performing Ignorance
WORDS: MYLES E. JOHNSON | ART: DONTE NEAL W hen you know better, you do better. It's the promise and the discipline I was taught by elders throughout my life. It is the calming...
Weapons: A 3 Part Series On Violence
WORDS: MYLES E. JOHNSON | ART: LOVEIS WISE Introduction: Rest Your Bones "What do you think about violence?" The texts smacks me across the head. I'm asked by a good friend to...
OkayMuva: The Devil + Joanne Prada
Every generation has icons that for better or for worse, totally define a moment. "I'm a real messy bitch, a liar, a scammer; I'm a messy bitch that lives for drama," a light...
White Women, Mind Your Business
WORDS: MYLES E. JOHNSON | ART: FAYE ORLOVE The best thing my mother did for me was to keep me away from white people and white culture for as long as possible. This was not an...
OkayMuva: The Radical Thing About Remy + Nicki Beef
My great-great-great-grandmother who was born a slave was not an easy going woman. My great-great-grandmother who died during childbirth was not an easy going woman. My...
'Kiki' Music Producer MikeQ Talks Preserving The Ballroom [Interview]
To preserve the culture is to forfeit profit. This is the truth more often than it is not. Preserving culture becomes risky work in a culture dominated by white supremacist...
Sharing God: Myles Johnson On Sexuality + the Black Church [Opinion]
" Have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church, I brought in with me [and] I think all the...
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,...
Common, the White House + the Black Imagination [Op-Ed]
How the White House functions for black America in the past eight years has always fascinated me. It can serve as a type of canvas for the black American imagination in an...
An Examination of Colored People Time
By Myles Johnson "Just five more minutes." We are late. The world is desperate to rush my friend as he gets ready, but he refuses to be anything but slow and steady. It's in his...
White 'Allies' And The American Tradition Of Consuming Black Grief
The exhaustion is heavy. It turns my eyelashes into bricks and each tear that escapes my eye into a stream of lava rearranging my face. These cases of Black deaths are always...
What I Learned About Myself from Loving the Toxic Hyper-Masculine Man
"this boy on your block he the double dutch champ he teach the boys to slow dance the girls, how to please their men they listenhe keep house better than your wife or your mama"...

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