Richard Wright, Lanston Hughes, Alice Walker, Earnest Hemmingway, Mark Twain etc... these are just a few authors that influenced me as a reader. Over time, I branched out be more inclusive but I focused on biographies and on informative writings. I am a researcher at heart.
In 1970, something miraculous began to grow up from below the foundations of the concrete streets of Cleveland, Ohio; a tender blade of grass, whose humble beginnings were hidden from view beneath the weight of a seemingly impenetrable ceiling. And, if to observe this blade of grass as it single-handedly penetrated the surface of that which was supposed to keep it buried forever were not inspiring enough, then consider that this is not merely the story of a plant in the ground. It is the depiction of a man firmly planted; rooted and grounded in faith. It is the story of Johnnie Dent, Jr. the child of an aspiring singer who battled with alcoholism and the son of an atheist, authoritarian father who cemented his career in law enforcement. Johnnie grew up believing that God wasn’t accessible to the individual, and that his only refuge was to be tougher than the world around him. But something was missing. As he began to develop, he realized that something within him was yearning to get beyond the surface. He longed to press upward where his development could reach limitless heights without detaching from his foundation. But something was missing. Johnnie Dent, Jr. knew that something deep within could not be contained in the faceless depths of obscurity, but what – or rather who was it? Yes, something was missing! As he searched far and wide he could not find the consolation of being validated and assured of that which he was to become. It was not discovered in his closest relationships or in his most critical introspection. But in 1990, God began to validate him. As he was reading through a passage of scripture, he received revelation through Psalms 27:10 which lead to his rebirth. This tender blade, this Joseph in the making; through all the odds against him, was making his way beyond the surface.
Johnnie Dent continues to lecture at universities, youth facilities and within various faith communities. The message is universally apostolic in nature yet applicable inter-generationally, inter-denominationally and inter-religiously. His accomplishments do not even begin to taper off here, but it would be careless if one failed to mention his relentless dedication to social reform in the African American community as an expression of his faith in the continued ministry of Jesus Christ. Prolific Author, Speaker, Youth Counselor and Talk Show Host, Johnnie, has begun exploring opportunities to bring his message to the big screen, and has talked with Hollywood producers about ways to use his platform to bring healing within the home, the church, the community, and the world.