LISTEN to the original poem "Freedom Song"
written and performed by Amber Rose
for the June 4, 2015
Oh, Freedom! world premiere.
Amber Rose Johnson
Amber Rose Johnson is a nationally recognized poet, activist and educator from Providence, Rhode Island. She is committed to speaking truth through powerful and dynamic performances, using poetry as a tool to combat current issues and amplify silenced narratives. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar with a research appointment at the University of Toronto in Women and Gender Studies.
In 2010, Amber Rose was titled the Poetry Out Loud National Champion and has since recorded a poetry album alongside Meryl Streep, Ruby Dee and James Earl Jones under Universal Studios. Additionally, her work has been featured on NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac” with Garrison Keillor as well as live performances on The Melissa Harris Perry Show on MSNBC. She has delivered energetic and inspiring performances across the country from the National Association of Guidance Counselors to the White House Lawn.
In addition to her passion for poetry, Amber Rose is dedicated to community organizing, youth development and activism. Last year, Amber Rose served her community as a 6th grade English teacher and shortly after published her own Spoken Word and Social Justice poetry curriculum for middle school students. Her most recent research efforts were with the America’s Promise Alliance and the “Don’t Call Them Dropouts” research project and campaign, working to dismantle the dominant narrative for students who have left school before graduation. Additionally, she was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and Children with a particular focus on teen dating violence. This effort is connected to her involvement with the Start Strong national campaign through the Robert Wood Johnson foundation.
Her current Fulbright research focuses Black people in the Western world and their engagement with colonizing language, particularly English and French. Her work begins in long moment of transatlantic chattel slavery and extends to the current climate in classroom with Black and Brown youth. As a Truman Scholar, Amber Rose graduated from Tufts University with multiple degrees in American Studies, Leadership Studies, Africana Studies and English. She will continue her research as a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania next fall.