J. PHARAOH DOSS

Dr. Umar Johnson, a psychologist and public speaker, gave a recent radio interview which was heavily scrutinized on social media. There were questions concerning his academic credentials, his claim of family lineage to Fredrick Douglass, the money he raised to start a school, and his views on interracial marriage.

Afterwards, Roland Martin invited Dr. Johnson on his television news program to clear up the concerns and field questions from the news panel.

The biggest controversy surrounding Dr. Johnson is the school he wants to operate. Dr. Johnson raised money over the years to purchase a school, but critics have called his fundraising operation and his school plans a scam.

So Martin wondered why he wanted to purchase a school when he can start a charter school. (Before Dr. Johnson started raising money it was reported in Philadelphia, where Dr. Johnson is based, The Imhotep Institute Charter School was the city’s most successful high school. It sent 66 percent of its graduates to college and out of 525 students, 99 percent of them are Black and 87 percent of them are low-income)

Dr. Johnson replied, “…Charter schools are owned by the state and I’m a Pan-Africanist. I believe what is to be done for Black people must be done by Black people, why would I want a charter school?”

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