CORRECTION: The original article mistakenly attributed the work on the book and the funding source. The article has been fixed.
A mass communications professor at Savannah State University is working on a book to highlight the experience of African Americans in the South.
Jason Miccolo Johnson, visiting professor of mass communications, is spearheading a book project titled “Southern Potential: New Visions, New Opportunities, Reassessing the South”.
The book will showcase the positive aspects of living in the South for African Americans, how the South is growing in its acceptance of diversity, and how far African Americans have come in the past several decades, Johnson says.
“I’m inviting the reader to take another look at the South, because many people in the South are doing well and people are moving back to the South," he said.
The book comes in the year of commemoration 400 years since African Americans were brought to the United States as enslaved people, Johnson says.
Johnson says he hopes to show that the South has made progress.
"Not that the South is perfect, not that it’s good as it can be or should be," he said.
Visiting Professor Tracy Haynes and Programming Director William Martin are helping with the project to add video elements to accompany the publication.
"They’re accessible, they’re multitalented, and they bring not only their skill set but also their vision and their views,” Johnson said.
“(The book) is specifically focused upon the progress of African Americans currently living or working in the 11 former Confederate states," he said. "I am also offering more background and research in documenting some of the major accomplishments of contemporary African Americans."
Johnson believes that although he has been published in the past, this project will be different than the others.
The project is backed by Savannah State University. It is partially funded by an SSU alum through his family's foundation which he oversees, adding another defining aspect of the book.
He plans to conduct several interviews and consult with various leaders in the South before the book is published.