Real Ogden

Your Town, Your Stories: Shanarra Johnson

April 3, 2017

'A lot of people are taken aback by it'

By ANNA BURLESON, Standard-Examiner Staff

Shanarra Johnson remembers being a toddler when her mother put her and her sister on a blanket in the front yard with some watermelon and left them to play in front of their home near 29th Street and Wall Avenue.

“I remember people walking by and being really nice, saying sweet things,” she said.

For Johnson, 28, Ogden will always feel like home despite the fact that people react negatively when she says it’s where she is from.

“I definitely hear it when I tell people I’m from Ogden,” she said. “A lot of people are taken aback by it. They’re like ‘But you're so well spoken.’ Their responses are pretty funny.”

When she was young, Johnson felt like people were somehow blaming it on her because she grew up there.

“It was discrimination against people who lived there at the time by people who had never spent time walking the streets and talking to people,” she said.

Johnson lives Clearfield now but is thinking about moving back.

“Culture is made in all types of ways,” she said. “It’s not just the church, it’s not just businesses, it’s people who move here and decided to stay.”