The Office of the President continues the monthly series Veladas Hostosianas |Hostos Culture Talks for the month of February in commemoration of Black History Month with a special talk titled A Conversation on Blackness.” The virtual event will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, February 23 at 3:30 p.m.
 
Interim Associate Dean and Financial Aid Director Leslie King invited Assistant Professor of History at Saint Peter’s University John Wesley Johnson, Jr., Ph.D. to hold a one-on-one conversation around what it means to be Black—historically and currently—in America, which will include thoughts on representation, identity and diversity in daily life at work, at school, in creative expression, and in the Black Family across the diaspora.

About Special Guest Dr. John Wesley Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
John Wesley Johnson, Jr., is an assistant professor of history at Saint Peter’s University. Dr. Johnson earned his master’s in History and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers University-Newark. His research centers on race, class, culture, and urban geography in the 20th century United States. Dr. Johnson is presently writing a book length manuscript on the long history of the storied Weequahic Section of Newark. This study documents the community’s emergence from a collection of farms on the periphery of industrial Newark and charts its transition from a predominantly Jewish to a majority African American neighborhood in the 1960s. The work considers the larger impact of federally funded urban renewal on the city at large, looking closely at how highway construction and downtown development impacted the lives of Newark residents.
 
Before joining Saint Peter’s, Dr. Johnson was a fellow at the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, where he helped developed and coordinate a number of public history projects. In 2015, he served as the Executive Director of Newark Celebration 350, which was a yearlong commemorative celebration of the people, history, and culture of Newark.
 
A seasoned educator, Dr. Johnson has taught for over two decades, instructing students from middle school to college. He has also served as a middle school administrator, higher education program coordinator, and a residential education director and counselor. Dr. Johnson is particularly invested in serving first-generation college students, as he has over a decade of experience working with pre-college and undergraduate educational programs as an instructor and administrator.

#