February 16, 2018 – Atlanta, GA – The Counter Narrative Project (CNP) is proud to announce the appointment of Myles E. Johnson as CNP’s first national columnist for the organization’s various multimedia platforms, a first for the organization. Johnson is joining CNP from his most recent position as Editor at Philadelphia Printworks and as part of his work in more recent years as a freelance writer. As a young, in-demand talent, Johnson has gained a loyal readership through his writing about politics, gender/sexuality, and pop culture for such esteemed media as Vice, Essence, Buzzfeed, Okayplayer, Nylon Magazine, and The New York Times, to name but a few. A self-identified Black, queer writer and editor whose narrative explorations exists on the “nexus of race, sexuality, gender, feminism, and justice through content creation and cultural critique,” CNP is the perfect home for Johnson’s interrogative work. The 26-year-old Brooklynite agrees.
“I am deeply honored to be joining the CNP team and excited about having a space to showcase my literary voice. It feels like a paramount moment in my career to be able to work with a BGM national nonprofit in this capacity and to receive so much support and space for the development of my work,” shared Johnson. “This opportunity to directly connect with the community that I belong to feels like a homecoming and town hall at once.”
More than a national editorial writer with an enviable list of credits, Johnson is the author of Large Fears, a children’s book whose central character is a Black boy who loves pink and whose story deals with themes of anxiety, gender identity, and race through an Afrofuturist lens. Large Fears has been acclaimed by NBC, NPR, Out, Buzzfeed, The Advocate, Huffington Post, and Lambda Literary, among others. This rare kind of countering the narrative in both the Black and mainstream community is what Johnson plans to bring to this more adult space for Black gay men and their concerns.
“My main goals are to elevate the conversation about Black gay men and initiate a dialogue about issues that are interesting and important,” said Johnson. “There are just not a lot spaces for Black gay men's voices to be heard speaking about things that concern or interest us, and often when it does happen the conversation is reductive and one-dimensional.”
It's precisely because of Johnson’s strong literary voice and unique lens that Executive Director brought Johnson on board for this unique, first-of-its-kind position at the Counter Narrative Project.
“We’re so impressed with the caliber of Myles' contributions to public discourse already on a range of topics that we can’t wait to see what he does as part of the CNP team,” said Executive Director Charles Stephens. “Seeing the massive response to his first essay for CNP, we’re really looking forward to seeing how Myles continues to shake things up and give our community and its allies some serious food for thought.”