Ali Forny

100 Women We Love: Karma Mayet Johnson

We are thrilled to present the 2013 list of 100 Women We Love - Including...

Karma Mayet Johnson is a world-traveling composer and performer who’s appeared on MTV, Off Broadway in FELA!, and at the New Dramatists and The Joyce theaters, among many others. She also knows exactly who she is and what she wants. “I told my mom that I would be an actor, singer and dancer when I was four, and that I liked girls when I was seven,” says Johnson. Since those youthful declarations, the New York University grad pursued her M.F.A. on her way to linking two passions: art and community building. For three years, she wrote the “Inner Visions” series for the D.C.-area lesbian magazine Women in the Life. Today, Johnson is a fellow of the Cave Canem Workshop-Retreat for African-American poets. “I am most proud that I have facilitated the growth of the creative and political imaginations of thousands of children in schools, community centers and neighborhoods I’ve lived in,” says Johnson, who also composed her own blues opera, Indigo, which tells the story of lesbians on the Underground Railroad. “Being out has been the source of my success because it has provided me with community that has nurtured and supported me, listened to early drafts and showed up,” says Johnson. “So I’d like us to spread the word!” –NHM

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