John Jennings is a Professor of Media & Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside.
His work centers around intersectional narratives regarding identity politics and popular media. John is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art and co-founder/organizer of The Schomburg Center's Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is co-founder/organizer of the MLK NorCal's Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and also SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at Ohio State University.
If all that wasn't plenty, John is a 2016 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. John's current projects include the art collection Black Kirby: In Search of the Motherboxx Connection, the horror anthology Box of Bones, the coffee table book Black Comix Returns (with Damian Duffy), the supernatural crime noir story Blue Hand Mojo, and the New York Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's classic dark fantasy novel, Kindred.
John is eagerly anticipating the birth of his first child—due just two weeks away when we talked.
In this episode, we talk about marrying later in life and starting a family in your 40s. We talk a lot about what it means to leave a legacy. We talk about storytelling, design, and the construct of race—as well as the complexities of raising a black boy in America. John offers two distinct perspectives on all these topics as both a member of the academy and a critical maker.
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