Meet J. Darnell Johnson

When not writing, the 2021 Planting People Growing Justice Writing for Social Justice Award Winner, J. Darnell is a career social services professional from housing the homeless to feeding the hungry to caring for abused and neglected. Whether it’s portraying Malcom X on his birthday, performing a black history rap, teaching Kwanzaa to elementary school students. J. Darnell has spent a life-long career educating and serving his community.

Featured Book:

Jamal and Me Freedom Summer

A magical tale of compassion and courage based on the true events of Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964.

Nine-year-old Jamal from Minnesota is a jelly-bean-counting whiz kid who wins the school Jelly Bean Counting Contest. His Grandma Lynn wishes Jamal had been around when her mother was alive in Mississippi in the sixties, a time of Black voter suppression.

Ma Dear was never able to vote because she couldn’t pass the test of guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar. Jamal, too, wishes he could have helped his great grandmother.

Featured book:

Jamal and Me Freedom Summer

A magical tale of compassion and courage based on the true events of Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964

Nine-year-old Jamal from Minnesota is a jelly-bean-counting whiz kid who wins the school Jelly Bean Counting Contest. His Grandma Lynn wishes Jamal had been around when her mother was alive in Mississippi in the sixties, a time of Black voter suppression.

Ma Dear was never able to vote because she couldn’t pass the test of guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar. Jamal, too, wishes he could have helped his great grandmother.

Books By J. Darnell Johnson

Here are some of the books authored by J. Darnell Johnson. Click here to see full list.

Books Reviews

Here are some of the reviews from the readers of the book:

Roots Four Zero is really easy to read. Nice correlation and buildup, I just couldn't stop when I started reading it. Highly recommended

Jarvis Sheffield Black Science Fiction Society

What debut for a new Y.A. author using poem, narrative and comics to tell a tale of adventure and intrigue all while daring you to suspend your beliefs and wait until the end.

Dara Beevis Co-founder Wise Ink Creative Publishing and
author of Amina of Zaria: Warrior Queen

This is a fantastic adventure you don’t want to miss! The Supreme Hogon introduces audiences to centuries-old culture and superpowers in this thriller.

Eric Childs Mind’s Eye Comics

One passage in the story that resonated with me was how the belief that the Black vote didn’t matter was addressed. Indeed, if it didn’t, why were whites going to such lengths to keep Blacks from voting? The great strength, courage, and faith it took to persevere in the face of fear and danger for the basic right to vote speaks volumes.

Insight news

To say this story (The Opening) was powerful would be a great understatement. I could not put the book down. Ja’s journey was surreal, uplifting, devastating and inspiring. Readers will get a chance to learn about the destructive nature of colonialism within a historical framework (something I cover in the classes I teach).

Storywise

This is quite an ambitious piece, with plenty of fascinating cultural and political information. J. Darnell blends elements that really have not been blended before - at least in this particular manifestation - to make something completely new: speculative fiction grounded in a Pan-African cosmology. Drawing on the science fiction elements of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents, as well as the time-travel approach of Kindred, we get a new vision of the possible in the The Opening, which is the function of all creative expression, after all.

Shannon Gibney Author, Educator

J. Darnell Johnson hit a homerun with his creative use of black history and time travel, and there is a shocking twist at the end. His hyphenated word usage is unparallelled. I hope he writes a sequel!.

Yvette Irving-Johnson

Roots Four Zero is really easy to read. Nice correlation and buildup, I just couldn't stop when I started reading it. Highly recommended

Ralph