That Celebrity Interview with NAACP President Derrick Johnson

By Valder Beebe

It’s summertime and time to celebrate family. June 19th, a unique celebration also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally, the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. We have a responsibility to know history and to pass it on to our children, family and friends. This summer, gather the family as a reunion, entertainment or backyard BBQ and proudly celebrate Juneteenth. One of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian and Pan-Africanist, who was the first African-American to earn a doctorate and become a professor.

This summer, gather the family as a reunion, entertainment or backyard BBQ and proudly celebrate Juneteenth. One of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian and Pan-Africanist, who was the first African-American to earn a doctorate and become a professor.

The NAACP civil rights organization in the United States was formed in 1909 to advance justice for African Americans. In the 21st Century, its task to fulfill its mission still looms before it. I invited NAACP President Derrick Johnson to the Valder Beebe Show SATELLITE Studios after the NAACP’s recent announcement of its historic Jamestown to Jamestown event partnership, marking the 400th year enslaved Africans first touched the shores of what would become America.

An official event of Ghana’s “Year of Return,” Jamestown to Jamestown will allow for NAACP leadership and members, as well as members of the African American community, to honor both ancestors and the struggle for Black liberation in a groundbreaking trek from Jamestown, Virginia to Jamestown, Ghana in August. The event kicks off August 18 in Washington, DC and is designed to connect the present to our shared past in ways to empower and invigorate the continued struggle for full liberation of the oppressed.

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a year-long major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad. A main goal of the campaign is to position Ghana as a key travel destination for African Americans and the African Diaspora. October 2017, the executive committee of the NAACP National Board of Directors elected Derrick Johnson President/ CEO. Formerly, he served as vice chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors as well as state president for the Mississippi State Conference.

Born in Detroit, Johnson attended Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS., then continued on to Houston, TX to receive his JD from the South Texas College of Law. In later years, Johnson furthered his training through fellowships with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the George Washington University School of Political Management, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has served as an annual guest lecturer at Harvard Law School, lending his expertise to Professor Lani Guinier’s course on social movements, and as an adjunct professor at Tougaloo. (Text provided by Derrick Johnson’s publicist)

VBS: I want my audience to know I have the pleasure to have the President of the NAACP, Mr. Derrick Johnson in the Valder Beebe Show SATELLITE Studios today. Mr. Johnson, you are here to tell us about celebrating 400 years of the African Diaspora. Can you provide more details?

DJ: Thank you for having me on your show. This is our 104th year as an organization. We celebrate milestones and we recognize milestones. This year is also the 400th year of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We want to recognize this year through a partnership with Ghana. We are going to take a pilgrimage back to Ghana and we call it Jamestown to Jamestown. We labeled it that because the first recorded history of Africans enslaved in America or coming to this country was in Jamestown, Virginia.

VBS: W.E.B Du Bois, a founder of the NAACP, how does he figure prominently into this recognition?

DJ: We have partnered with africanancestry.com, and we are asking the public to visit the burial site of W.E.B Du Bois in Ghana along with a host of history-making locations.

Hear the complete interview on soundcloud.com/valderbeebeshow

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