About Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson

Dr. Jessica Johnson teaches English composition at Ohio State University’s Lima campus, specializing in cultural studies. She is a 2014 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate (Society of Professional Journalists) and represented Ohio State at Lima in the 10th International Conference on Sport & Society at Ryerson University in Toronto. Johnson is a cultural critic who writes from a Christian perspective, and she serves as a special correspondent for The Columbus Dispatch, an opinion columnist for The Athens Banner-Herald and a guest columnist for The Lima News. Her columns examine faith-based, racial and social issues in popular culture, higher education, sports and politics. Some of her noted interviews include the late Bill Willis, one of the foursome that reintegrated the NFL in 1946; civil rights icon C.T. Vivian; Philadelphia Eagles safety and Players Coalition’s co-founder Malcolm Jenkins; former heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas; Canadian Screen Award winner Stephan James; and Marlene Owens Rankin and Gloria Owens Hemphill, the daughters of Jesse Owens.

Johnson is also the author of Salt of the Earth Georgia Boy, a memoir chronicling the life of Dr. Wilburn H. Weddington Sr., who was born a sharecropper in 1924 in Hiram, Georgia, and became the first black physician to be promoted to full professor at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine. Johnson is active in the Columbus community through her church, Vision of Breath With Life Ministries, where she serves as a musician for the praise and worship team.

“I have never forgotten an essential truth that one of my English professors stressed in class during my freshman year when he said, ‘The mark of an educated person is one who reads.’”

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Knowing What Love Is Through God Feb 13, 2020

While musing on Valentine's Day this week, I began to reminisce about the 1984 hit "I Want to Know What Love Is" by the British-American rock band Foreigner. This song caught my attention as a teenager due to Foreigner's collaboration with the New Je... Read More

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Giving God Glory at the Super Bowl Feb 06, 2020

Leading up to Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, I was trying to make up my mind about which team I would root for. During the NFL playoffs, I had been pulling hard for the New Orleans Saints, whom Ohio State f... Read More

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Life Is Like a Vapor: Make the Most of It Like Kobe Jan 30, 2020

When I saw updates on my phone about the tragic helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other passengers last Sunday, like many, I did not believe the news at first. I waited until the m... Read More

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Just Mercy in the Face of Injustice Jan 23, 2020

"Just Mercy" is one of those historical films that revisit the crushing heartache of a tragic story anchored in Southern racism. Its harrowing storyline begins in 1987 in Montgomery, Alabama, where Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), a black log... Read More