For his whole life, Jomo Johnson has followed a calling for his life.
“To love people whether that’s in a church or a non traditional setting, I just want to be used,” Johnson said.
Johnson, 36, recently moved to Savannah from Virginia to start a church but when that didn’t go as planned he looked for other ways to serve the community,
“I always had admired Black Lives Matter, and kinda what they had done and the advocacy that they had done and I was surprised because I saw that Savannah didn’t have a chapter,” Johnson said.
So, in late May, with the help of others, Johnson decided to start one.
“It’s my hope that this chapter can show that, yes, all lives matter, but especially at this particular time we need to declare that Black lives matter,” Johnson said.
One way to demonstrate this principal was by hosting a vigil.
“I think we need to be grounded on the fact that we are a peaceful group,” Johnson said. “But yet peace doesn’t not mean silence.”
On Saturday more than a thousand people from all backgrounds gathered in downtown Savannah to remember those, of all races, killed in the past month, including Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, five police officers in Dallas and those murdered in the Orlando shooting.
“We’re glad to have as many people on board as possible from different backgrounds and diversity as possible,” Johnson said.
Johnson hopes the diversity of the chapter, which currently has 62 members, can provide a fresh look for the movement.
“I think the goal is to see all people equally. So when I look at a police officer, I’m not looking at someone who’s going to shoot me. And for a police officer when they see a black person, they’re not looking at someone who is a threat. Or if I’m a public citizen, I’m not looking a Black Lives Matter as a radical. Or if I’m a Black Lives Matter, I’m not looking at a white life as someone who is an oppressor, but to look at every life as important as valuable, made in the image of God,” Johnson said.
Johnson hopes he can be part of a solution.
“I hope that its because of some of the things that I’ve faced and I’ve embraced. that I now can be able to help others,”
He also plans to start a church welcoming people from all backgrounds.
In the meantime, he said a word of advice for the general public.
“I think that everybody has to something to offer and I think the thing that all of us have to offer starting right now is to treat other the way that we want to be treated,” Johnson said. “That’s something simple and that’s something that all of us can do.”
To learn more about Savannah’s Black Lives Matter chapter contact:
- Call: (912) 268-1890