My Black History: Veronica Johnson

Who was the most influential person in your life and why?

My father John L. Richardson Sr. He lived every word he spoke to me. He was a man after God's own heart and spent every day in his life proving it through his actions. Love was an action word with him and for that I will forever be grateful!  My entire life I assumed my dad would be here forever and when I realized he wouldn’t be, he was dying. Even though he is not physically here with me anymore, his influence is ingrained in my DNA. The way I love my children, the way I partner with my spouse,  and the way I treat all people. He was one of the most special gifts God has blessed me with and I was so proud to call him my father.

What are you most proud of about your culture?

I am most proud to come from a long line of MAGIC! Our accomplishments and culture have shaped every facet of America. For years we were told we could not, would not, and should not. Yet here we are doing ALL the things, and very well if I do say so myself.  I am proud of the ability for our people to bounce back even through the worst of circumstances. 

If you could describe your black history in one word what would it be and why?

LOUD! Because Black History is loud, intentional and uncomfortable because of its truths. My parents invested time and energy into ensuring I knew the sacrifices of my ancestors, which allow me the life I live today; a life free from enslavement, a life free to cast my vote, a life filled with the freedom to educate myself, and filled with the freedom to work where I want. A life destined to move the culture forward through inspiration and empowerment of those I connect with in my daily paths.

If you could have lunch with one famous person (artist, sculptor, author, activist, musician, etc.), who would it be and why?

Oprah Winfrey! I love Oprah and I believe that would be the most interesting lunch ever.   

What do you want people to know about Black History?

Black History is HISTORY. PERIOD. My heritage dictates that I embrace the opportunities granted to me and that I encourage and inspire others to be nothing less than GREAT and I wake up every morning in hopes of doing just that.