Kinky Black History Month

Profile: Viola Johnson

Viola Johnson, also known as V. M. Johnson, and more affectionately known as Vi Johnson and Mama Vi Johnson, is all of the following:

Black/African-American husband and wife female/woman slave, Old Guard constituent, award-winning Leatherwoman, vampire, teacher, mentor, personal assistant, writer, family accountant, researcher, public speaker, genealogist and historian.

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Click to enlarge

She self-identifies as an “algolagnistic odalisque,” a pain-lusting female slave often (though not always) used for sexual purposes. The pain she receives often brings joy, but it does not always result in “getting off” sexually. (source: Leather Archives)

Vi is also a pillar of representation of black kink (kink in general) and black devotion. A true veteran of the lifestyle, she has been a devotee of her craft since (at least) 1973. She stands as a symbol of realism (as opposed to modern day fantasy) in the BDSM lifestyle, pulling no punches in her diary-style popular book To Love, to Obey, to Serve: Diary of an Old Guard Slave. (She is also author of the book Dhampir: Child of the Blood, a publication on vampirism.) (Amazon link)

Viola had the distinction of winning the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Pantheon of Leather and The National Leather Association, making her the only person to receive both awards in the same year. In the year 2000, she received the Pantheon of Leather “Woman of the Year” award. These are a few of numerous awards and accolades she has received over the years. (Source: SouthEast Leatherfest)

On being a lifestyle slave, Vi says “This community has come to view someone who is a slave as a weak-willed doormat who serves only because he or she is incapable of making decisions on their own. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all have many talents. I am many things[…]. All those talents are part of what I bring to my owner. She directs them in the ways that she deems proper.” (Source: Dark Connections)

Here’s a 4-minute video interview of Vi for the Women’s Leather History Project where she describes early, quiet, and sometimes secretive kinky same-sex existence and finding other kinksters. She also answers the question “How long do you think a leather generation is?” beginning at mark 2:37 (one of my favorite responses to the change of what we have as today’s fast track to being a BDSM “expert.” Sorry… personal gripe.)

Click to enlargeSource: Dark Connections

Click to enlarge
Source: Dark Connections

Vi Johnson and husband Jill Carter, International Ms Leather 1996, are the founders and proprietors of a great leather resource. The Carter/Johnson Leather Library, a non-profit 501(c)(3) (pending) organization, is a traveling collection of thousands of kink and alternate sexuality books, magazines, posters, art, club and event pins, newspapers, event programs and ephemera showing the Leather, fetish, and S/M erotic history dating back to the 1700’s of the gay, straight, and trans communities.

“The Carter/Johnson Library is designed to put people in touch with their history by allowing them to hold it, read it, smell it and know it.” The Library includes works from the Marquis De Sade, DVDs including “The Story of O,” and complete collections like that of “Black Leather in Color,” a publication discussing POC in to S&M, power and race. View more of what it includes.

I hold a special place in my heart for Vi Johnson, as she was the very first black female slave I ever knew of after I officially entered the lifestyle all those years ago. My earliest (more famously known) resource triad included Viola Johnson, Gloria Brame and Jay Wiseman. I am grateful for the paths she and others laid for us.

Other contributing sources:
Master/slave Conference
Wikipedia

Kinky Black History Month is a collection of things kinky, erotic & touching.

It is the celebration of POC (people of color) with a focus on those who identify as Black or African-American.

For 28 days, know that we exist, some of us are kinky and all of us are worthy.

For the remaining 337 days, know that we exist, some of us are kinky and all of us are worthy.

Many thanks go to Sir Black Ice and friends papislut & Master Alexander for your continued cheerleading and footwork, those who have provided express permission to include their works here and those who freely offered resources, ideas and input otherwise.