Tallahassee Mayor John Marks’ Summit on Race, Culture and Human Relations included a visit to Tallahassee Community College by Black Entertainment Television’s award-winning investigative journalist and political commentator Jeff Johnson.
Johnson spoke on a number of issues, all relating to the theme of this year’s Mayor’s Summit – “Appreciate the Progress, Commit to Improve.”
Johnson, best known for speaking on controversial issues, wasted no time living up to his reputation as he spoke to the dozens in attendance Tuesday night at TCC’s turner Auditorium.
Johnson’s speech focused on the lack of racial issues being addressed at an institutionalized level.
“Politicians and media always seem to dance around race issues instead of addressing it directly,” Johnson said. “The only way we can make serious progress on racism is if we openly discuss it.”
Johnson also stressed the importance of academic environments being a refuge for touchy subjects like race and culture.
Orlando native and second-year TCC physiology student Rachel Wilmore, 21, said she is appreciative of Johnson’s bold and heated presentations.
“He talks about things most high-level positioned people want to talk about, but are too afraid to address,” Wilmore said.
Wilmore also added she is a fan of Johnson’s work and looks forward to him speaking at other engagements.
However, students were not the only ones getting amped up by Johnson’s guest appearance. Leon County Growth and Environmental Management employee Weldon Richardson came with his wife and daughter to hear Johnson speak.
“Not only is he down to earth, but he tells it like it is,” Richardson said. “I enjoy his directive and upfront attitude and sensitive issues.”
While Johnson admitted America had come a long way from were it once was, he stressed to the audience that there is work that still needs to be done.
“We can’t get caught up in the progress that we’ve made and lose focus on what we still need to do.”