J.J Johnson has lived in the Colonial School district for more than 40 years and spent 14 of those years as a State Representative in the Delaware General Assembly.  Johnson took a keen interest in the education of Colonial school children, in part because of his own experience attending segregated schools as a youngster living in Marshallton. Johnson recalls walking two miles to the Absalom Jones “Colored School” saying,  “I realized I was not permitted to attend school with white children. I had white children that I played with all summer. In the fall when school started they went to school in the neighborhood and I had to go to a school two miles away. I didn’t understand why and had a hard time dealing with it. It gave me an inferiority complex for years.” Johnson says African American students from Greenbank, Hockessin, Christina, Rockland, and Newport all attended Absalom Jones Colored School where it was apparent that their schoolhouse and materials were inferior to those of white students. Still, he has fond memories of his first-grade teacher Mrs. Johnson ( no relation) who “made the class seem special.” When Johnson and the other children finally received a school bus it was driven by Mrs. Johnson’s husband who also went out of his way to make the children feel special. It was later in life that he learned his bus driver was none other than Julius “Judy” Johnson, an African American baseball player who was a  third baseman and manager in the Negro Baseball League for a career that spanned 17 seasons. Despite his fame, Johnson says his bus driver never spoke about his career on the mound. Later, Johnson would attend other segregated schools-Bancroft in Wilmington, and Howard High School, the only high school for Black students in the entire state of Delaware.  Again, while books and the physical buildings were inferior to whites, Johnson says his teachers were stern but dedicated and pushed students to learn. Today he shares his educational experiences in segregated schools with his family saying, “ I told my children and grandchildren I am glad they didn’t have to go through the Jim Crow era like I had to do. They should take advantage of the opportunities they have and learn all they can.  Today, there are no limits to what they can accomplish!” #BlackHistoryMonth2021 #EquityCSD #powerofwecsd