View Transcript (144 KB)
Jackie Bell Johnson was born in Baltimore into a community that sustained themselves by being honest and hard-working people, including her father, who was a carpenter. Johnson also grew up being a part of Girl Scouts and earned her Silver. Johnson is currently living in Los Angeles, California, as an art teacher at the local community colleges and is a mother of two. Johnson has used her art as an act of protest and activism; she has carried this ideal into her role as an Auntie in the Auntie Sewing Squad.
The beginning of our interview was essentially introducing Jackie Bell Johnson to our listeners, establishing how she became an active member of the Auntie Sewing Squad, and how she was able to get supplies to make masks during the pandemic (00:00-12:00). Johnson then goes on to explain the Auntie Care exchange program, and how that allowed her to get more involved with other Aunties, and to ensure she is taking care of herself during these trying times (12:00-19:00). We then go on to explore the ways in which the Auntie Sewing Squad has influenced her views on social issues, and how she used her art to express herself (19:00-22:40). After showing how important her art is to expressing herself to the world, we get to take a look at her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland; she gives us a glimpse into her life as a Girl Scout, and how she used that to make a difference in her community (22:40-31:40). To close off our interview, Johnson explains how her family feels about her being an Auntie, and we get to experience how Johnson creates a sense of normalcy during the pandemic (31:40-57:00).
Aja Whittaker; Sierra Wilson
Bell Johnson, Jackie, "Interview with Jackie Bell Johnson" (2020). Auntie Sewing Squad Interviews. 24.