Thursday, April 19
by Dr. Fred L. Johnson III
6:45 pm Pre-presentation Reception with Speaker – 7:30 pm Presentation Begins
Lake Michigan College, South Haven Campus
125 Veterans Blvd.
South Haven, Michigan
Professor Fred Johnson, one of Hope College’s most celebrated teachers, discusses how centuries old patterns of discrimination play out in new forms and challenges. He will offer action steps that need to be taken to secure the diminished benefits of citizenship for African Americans.
Speakers Series of South Haven Launches 2018 Season on Thursday, April 19 with “While Black People Slept” by Dr. Fred L. Johnson III.
While Black People Slept will be the subject for the opening presentation of the 2018 Speakers Series of South Haven on Thursday, April 19 at Lake Michigan College in South Haven. The speaker, Professor Fred Johnson, is one of Hope College’s most celebrated teachers, a seven-time semi-finalist in the Toastmaster’s World Series of Public Speaking, and a former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. A pre-presentation reception with the speaker will be held at 6:45 p.m. followed by the talk at 7:30.
Johnson will assess how the much hoped for post-racial America heralded by Barack Obama’s 2008 election has been eroded. Changes that led many to presume that great leaps of progress had been achieved were actually retrenched patterns of discrimination and marginalization that have gained momentum. “They are the nations’s dirty secrets hiding in plain sight” he says.
Although 21st Century America affords more benefits and opportunities for Black Americans than previous generations, Johnson says that “Blacks in the 21st Century have been lulled by the achievements of their forebears and now confront old problems in the guise of new challenges.” He will discuss areas of old and new discrimination that persist in diminishing benefits of citizenship for African Americans while addressing strategies for resolution.
Recognized as a vibrant speaker and effective teacher, Johnson has advanced seven times to the Toastmaster’s World Series of Public Speaking and last year won 2nd place in the semi-final round. He has received the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator Award and Hope students voted him their Favorite Professor Award. Johnson also draws full houses at his regular adult lectures and programs at Hope, Calvin, and Aquinas Colleges and Grand Valley State University.
He brings a wealth of practical experience to his teaching from his service as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer and working in the automotive, telecommunications, and aerospace industries. In 2008 and 2010, he ran for the House of Representatives from Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District.
Johnson earned his Masters and Doctorate degrees from Kent State University in Ohio. His primary field of study is 19th Century U.S. History, specifically the Civil War. His other areas of expertise include U.S. Military History, History of U.S. Foreign Policy, 20th Century U.S. History, and Africa.
He is the author of numerous articles and book reviews, three novels published by Random House, and co-author of a biography of the late actor and Hip-Hop artist Tupac Shakur.