James Johnson Named Winner in PPGJLI’s Writing for Social Change Contest

May 25 21:24 2022

St. Paul, MN – May 25, 2022 – Planting People Growing Justice™ Leadership Institute (PPGJLI) announced that James Johnson is the winner of its 2022 Adult Writing Competition. His book, “Ol’ Jim Crow’s Jubilee Day Caper,” will be released on Juneteenth (June 19, 2022).

“We are so happy to announce that James Johnson is the 2022 winner of our adult writing competition,” said PPGJLI founder, Dr. Artika Tyner. “We look forward to celebrating his accomplishments as a community historian, esteemed educator, and change agent.”

J. Darnell Johnson is a South Minneapolis native. He intertwined his love for African American history and culture with educating children. Johnson is the Education Director of Evolve Family Services, committed to serving as an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization. He dedicated the book to “all the young social justice superheroes who find their superpowers through reading.”

The theme for the writing competition was: Writing for Social Change. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Entrants submitted original manuscripts that focused on equality and inclusion. As the winner, Johnson will receive a cash prize and copies of his published book. He’ll also be honored during the PPGJLI’s annual Community Celebration.

Johnson beautifully captures the spirit of Jubilee Day in the 20-page book featuring African Americans celebrating the end of slavery. Looking down from a cloud is a politician, Jim Crow, who is still trying to disrupt festivities and spread anti-black racism after more than 100 years. No matter what he does, Crow can’t crush the spirit of the celebrants.

Jubilee Day, now known as Juneteenth, marks the day on June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX, to ensure that more than 250,000 enslaved Black people were freed. It came a full 2½ years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that brought an end to slavery. In 1890, Juneteenth was celebrated as Jubilee Day by African-Americans throughout TX.

Over the years, Juneteenth has been known by many names that include Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Black Independence Day, and Jubilee Day. Juneteenth is a combination of the words June and nineteenth – Juneteenth. The day is now a federal holiday and celebrated by African Americans on June 19 of each year with feasts of red food and drink in remembrance of their ties to West African traditions.


PPGJLI seeks to plant seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach. The nonprofit organization is committed to inspiring and equipping 10,000 leaders around the world. PPGJLI was founded with the goal of promoting literacy and diversity in children’s books. PPGJLI focuses on the future of social change and community building through igniting the leadership within each person.

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Media Contact
Company Name: Planting People Growing Justice® Leadership Institute
Contact Person: Jacklyn Milton
Email: Send Email
Phone: (651) 303-6566
City: Saint Paul
State: Minnesota
Country: United States
Website: www.ppgjli.org