Writer Charles Johnson, on "Middle Passage" and Black Lives in America | WYPR

Writer Charles Johnson, on "Middle Passage" and Black Lives in America

Dec 30, 2019

Writer and literary scholar Charles Johnson
Credit By Crystal Wiley-Brown

  (This program originally aired on October 15, 2019)

Today, on this archived edition of Midday, Tom’s guest for the hour is the award-winning novelist, literary scholar and artist, Charles Johnson

Dr. Johnson is best-known as the author of Middle Passagethe epic novel about the 1830s slave trade for which he won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1990. At the time, he was only the second African-American man to have won the honor, after Ralph Ellison.  Johnson's other novels include Night HawksDr. King’s RefrigeratorDreamerand Faith and the Good Thing.

In 1998, Dr. Johnson received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called "genius grant."  In 2002, he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Dr. Johnson began his career in the 1960s as a cartoonist, creating comic strips and editorial cartoons for a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune, Ebony and Playboy. In addition to his novels, Charles Johnson has written numerous screenplays, essays, and children’s books.