The Johnson family takes politics very seriously. They have a history of political involvement, ranging from Pamela Junior’s campaigning for Jesse Jackson to Monica Cash’s electioneering for Shirley Chisholm.
Family matriarch, Ina Johnson, 87, and late husband, Booker Telasaro Johnson were married for 47 years. Their Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone has been the family’s home since 1963. Their children range in age from 50 to 60. Ina Johnson has 15 grandchildren and 9 great- grandchildren.
Her children say Alexander Butcher, father of Ina Johnson – known to them as Grand Poppa – was their inspiration. He was not able to vote. He lived in New Orleans in the 1920s, during the era of legalized segregation and disenfranchisement.
Sherilyn Johnson, his granddaughter, remembers his retelling the story over Sunday dinner of one election day, when a group of Democrats aimed a gun in his direction and fired.
“He vowed then, that if he ever got a chance to vote, he would never vote Democrat. He was Republican until the day he died.” she said.
They remember him being the sole Republican around the table.
Some of the grandchildren, Tamika Glisson, Matthew Williams and Nicole Junior, used this historic election to extend the family’s history of political involvement – and raise money for their candidate Barack Obama.