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Vi Johnson is presented with the NCSF’s Race Bannon Advocacy Award

On December 15, 2020, Russell Stambaugh and Susan Wright presented Viola Johnson with the 2020 Race Bannon Advocacy Award in a video ceremony.  Vi was awarded for her pioneering work on the Carter/Johnson Library in Evansville Indiana. The video ceremony includes NCSF’s presentation, Vi’s acceptance, and a tour of the library and facilities provided by Vi. 

Vi and her longtime partner Jill Carter founded the Carter-Johnson Library in 2005.  At that time, both were widely recognized leaders in the leather community and early workers in preserving leather history and the role of people of color in it. The Carter-Johnson Library maintains the largest collection of literature preserving record of Black participation in what has historically been a white dominated lifestyle.

But the library is about more than participation in our communities. It is the repository of much of the Center for Sex and Culture’s library which was received early in 2020 after SSSC’s 2019 dissolution. It contains historical material dating back to the late 18th century, facilities for scholars-in-residence, meeting rooms for the Evansville community, event posters, programs and ephemera from decades of kink events, and Vi uses her formidable skills as a story teller to teach us about why we need to retain the ability to tell our own stories if kink is to sustain its communities. Perhaps most impressive is The Carter-Johnson Library’s role as centerpiece community development by creating a small but growing leather neighborhood in Evansville. Congratulations to Vi Johnson, the Carter-Johnson Library, and its devoted staff.