Johnson was born into large family — the ninth of 10 children — to Edna Johnson and Archie Johnson on April 8, 1946, in Hickory, Miss., a small town in the southeastern part of the state and a couple of hundred miles from Jackson, the state capital. Born into the latter stages of Jim Crowism and what some say was the most racist and dangerous state in the country for enterprising blacks, Johnson was reared in Freeport, Ill., about three hours east of Chicago.






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