michelle johnson | WMUK

michelle johnson

Brian K. Powers, courtesy of Encore Magazine

The cover story of the February issue of Encore Magazine went from a short profile proposed by Chris Killian last spring to a nearly 5000 word feature, due to the depth of topics and stories surrounding Michelle Johnson, according to Encore editor Marie Lee.

Back in August, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts brought in "Common Ground," a joint exhibit from art museums in Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Flint featuring centuries of African-American art. On February 4th -- almost six months later -- the KIA is putting on a new event, called “Common Threads," where activists, musicians and poets will gather together to perform a kind of “call and response” to the “Common Ground” exhibit and explore how its themes still resonate today. 

From Library of Congress

This Sunday, African-American history scholar Michelle Johnson, who’s also the executive director of the FIRE Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, will present a lecture on “Oral Tradition in African American Culture.” It will focus on acclaimed playwright and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, one of the major figures in the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson knows the subject from experience -- she actually followed Hurston into rural Florida.