Question & Answer with Jeff Johnson, Keynote Speaker, 13th Annual MLK Breakfast Celebration: Living the Uncomfortable Dream

On Thursday January 12, Palm Beach State College celebrated the 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast. Jeff Johnson is a social activist, journalist and political commentator. Natasha Lucas, web editor, had a chance to speak with him afterwards.

Natasha Lucas:  You’ve said in your speech we have to live to our potential dream and our dreams are far different from Dr. King’s dream, what’s your dream?
Jeff Johnson: My dream is about providing legacy for a community so often that has not have an institutional legacy. So by that I mean working to build and supporting to building of banks, schools, training centers. The kind of institution that insures that people in the community have the things they need.
Natasha Lucas:  As a voice of change, Martin Luther King has changed America with his moral beliefs and his courageous mind. Are there changes that need to be made in America?
Jeff Johnson: I don’t know a society that doesn’t need to continue to evolve. So, to think at some point we’re going to get to this mystical, magical moment where we made it, we did everything, it’s absurd. No matter how great our society becomes, there still going to be room for us as humans to be better.
Natasha Lucas: You mentioned in your speech about uncomfortable dream. Can you explain what that means?
Jeff Johnson: Dreaming a vision or reality that it’s going to take struggles to reach. Dreams that are so uncomfortable that you don’t even know if it’s possible, and what is going to take for you to get there, will push you so much that you don’t know if you’ll be able to survive the trip.
Natasha Lucas: As an individual that speaks to the youth. Do you thing think the youth has an understanding of the legacy that Martin Luther King has left?
Jeff Johnson: No, I don’t. I don’t think most people talk about it. Even though you have a monument a memorial in Washington D.C and you have a holiday every year, but most young people of most races for that matter aren’t taught about King, they hear about king, but they’re not taught about king.
Natasha Lucas: Do you think America has done enough to keep his (Dr. Kings’) legacy alive?
Jeff Johnson: I don’t think its America’s job it’s our job.
Natasha Lucas: What message would you say to for my generation and for our unborn generations?
Jeff Johnson: I think the message more than anything else is [to] tell me how I can help. Because at the end of the day I want you all to dream your own dreams, [and] want the things that you want. People like me, our jobs is to help you dissect those dreams and interpret them.
Natasha Lucas: What’s the most influential person or even in your life?
Jeff Johnson: The reoccurring reality of small things happening and learning from them that makes life so great. Meaning, when I think about my career and my life there wasn’t one thing that determined how I got to this place. There were small series of things that happen day after day.
Natasha Lucas: What is your favorite song?
Jeff Johnson: I got common’s new joint in heavy rotation and Drake in heavy rotation; I always have Jill [Scott] in heavy rotation. I’m not going let you put me in the box with that one. I don’t have a favorite song, but I got in heavy rotation Drake, common, and Jill [Scott].