Nathan Johnson has rockstar status with us. Saundra and I started our Noir Design Parti project in 2016 to research the history and chronicle the work of Black Architects in Detroit. Mr. Johnson was the last living of our then list of nine Trailblazers – the first generation of Black Architects licensed to practice in Michigan.
His love for modern architecture came from his internal fight against colonial architecture's history of oppression of Black Americans in the South. He designed over 30 churches in the mid-century modern style across metro Detroit.