This article was published on July 20th, 2020
Lendale Johnson is a professional tennis player, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and using his brand new platform, Deuces and Love, to speak out on what it’s like to be a gay black man in America today.
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to dominate headlines in the United States and around the world, history is being rewritten as every state shows solidarity for black people at this pivotal moment. Pride Month traditionally signifies the strides made in the LGBTQ+ community and Lendale Johnson is on a mission to share his experiencing as a double minority athlete in the current social climate. He is on a mission to help others face similar struggles and ignite conversations that educate people through his voice. His new reality show, Deuces and Love, will help reach a wider audience.
On his new show, Johnson will relate his personal experiences with racism in America, including an instance of racial profiling, and how he feels lucky that these incidents did not lead to his death. As an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, he has protested with Manwari Black Panthers and is known for speaking his mind on these controversial topics whenever he can. His involvement goes beyond protests and conversations, however, as his reality show will provide awareness and education of civil rights movements.
The show will also cover his charity events, tennis clinics for disadvantaged youth, fashion shows, educational workshops, world-class athletes, celebrity interviews, influencers, actors, models, performance artists, and panels with noted keynote speakers. Also featured will be diversity awareness within Fortune 500 businesses, Black Hollywood, and various LGBTQ+ community issues. Lendale is acutely aware of his platform as the first openly gay professional tennis player, as a black man in America, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. His intent is to use his position to create dialogue and make a difference.
Johnson’s upcoming project for the Black Lives Matter movement is a charity tennis match with the NYPD at his tennis academy, The Johnson High Performance Tennis Academy. The goal is to raise money for the ACLU Racial Justice Program, The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and The Okra Project. The charity event will also provide an outlet for allied police officers to show their support.
Johnson is keen on bringing awareness where he can, and create dialogue that introduces resources for people that want to educate themselves about black Americans and the struggles they face as minorities. He notes that his life as a double minority athlete can cause an elevated amount of anxiety, but it has also inspired him to address those issues associated with his identity. Johnson states:
“Murder, slavery, dehumanization and racism have plagued my culture way before I was even born. The fact that black people are still being murdered in 2020 by the hands of the justice system leaves me feeling very alarmed. Enough is enough, law enforcement needs to be held accountable and the systematic racism needs to stop. It pains me to the core seeing my people killed, I should not have to worry about my lives and safety by just existing.”
Get ready for Johnson’s reality show and find out what he’s all about!