Mount Morris Talks to Troy Johnson!
Tuesday, November 2 at 6:30 PM. Come listen.
If inspiration comes from within, then some of the most inspiring stories you’ll ever hear come from right within our own Mount Morris Park community.
Tuesday, November 2, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM Mount Morris Talks! welcomes Troy Johnson, a native of Harlem and one of Mount Morris Park’s resident hyphenates: Electrical Engineer-Website Developer-Entrepreneur-Consultant-Public Speaker-Founder of the #1 Website for African American Literature – and a success at them all.
Troy Johnson’s academic path led him through the NYC public schools to Brooklyn Technical High School, and then on to Syracuse University for a BS in Electrical Engineering, to Polytechnic University for an MS, and to New York University’s Stern School of Business for an MBA.
“I guess that’s not bad for a kid from the Johnson Houses projects,” he says.“Sure, there were some struggles, but if we’re not struggling, we’re not going to get to another level. So struggle is survival.”
Troy has both survived and thrived largely because he finds his passion and follows it. During his 20+ years in corporate roles ranging from designing wide area networks to managing international projects, his entrepreneurial instincts began to blossom. In 1997 he founded AABLC.com – the African American Literature Book Club. Today it is the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books by and about black people and a widely recognized source of author profiles, book recommendations, active discussion boards, writer resources, informative articles, videos and book reviews.
Although he says the decision was largely a pragmatic one (“I wanted to make a few extra bucks.”), his work on AABLC.com has ignited a love of reading and an appreciation for novels, poetry and other forms of African American literature – all of which he believes can help counter the effects of negative stereotypes and a distorted perspective that “African Americans are predisposed to criminal activity, unable to form a cohesive family, have an aversion to education and can only excel in sports or entertainment.”
What started as a part-time effort has become a lifetime passion. “Running AALBC.com over the years was never really easy,” he says. “What drove me to continue was that I thought what I was doing was important. The fact that it’s been my livelihood for the past three years is really terrific.”
Johnson also has served as the book editor for Harlem World magazine and advisor for the Literary Freedom Project, the Harlem Book Fair and New York is Book Country.
Please join us on Tuesday, November 2, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at the Harlem Branch of the New York Public Library, Community Room 3rd floor, 9 West 124th Street. This will be a unique opportunity to meet Troy Johnson and get the inside perspective on his challenges, rewards and inspiration.
Mount Morris Talks! is a series of conversations between the community and leaders, news makers, artists, authors and thinkers who live in the Harlem area. MMPCIA is proud to sponsor this series and offers it free of charge to the community.