Ethan Johnson

Ethan JohnsonEthan Johnson is an associate professor in the Black Studies Department at Portland State University. He has published in the journal Race, Ethnicity and Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Souls, Ethnography and Education and the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

He is also the co-editor along with Professor Kassie Freeman of the book Education in the Black Diaspora, in which he wrote several articles. His research has multiple foci. He examines broadly the educational experiences of youth of African descent concerning how they negotiate and interpret racial identity and racism in the United States and Ecuador.

His approach to this work is based on analysis of interviews, representations, and socio-historical contexts of people of African descent. In addition, his scholarship and teaching compares and contrasts mainstream/White and Black people’s representations of Blackness in both popular culture and the mass media.

He has also extended his work into historical analysis of the experiences of Black people in Portland, Oregon regarding anti-Apartheid organizing.

He teaches a number of courses that reflect his research interests. They are Racism, Multiracial Experience in the United States, Black People in Latin America, Race and Education, and Race, Gender and Class. Central to each of these courses is an examination of how race, gender and sexuality shape the experiences of people of African descent. My courses are based largely on discussion and weekly rigorous writing assignments.

Finally, Ethan designed, implemented and hosts the Black Bag Speakers Series at Portland State whose mission is to create and maintain a space at Portland State where issues important to the community of Black people in the surrounding area have a place to be discussed. This program began in 2006 and has continued to the present. There have been over 25 Black Bag Speaker events that cover topics such as education, health, art, law, slavery, criminal justice, sport, politics and music.