Mat Johnson

Mat Johnson grew up in the predominantly black, working class Philly neighborhood of Germantown. He graduated from the Quaker Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where his work as the black student union president won him the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for future leaders, for which Mat traveled through Europe and West Africa interviewing black expatriates. He later attended Columbia University’s Graduate Writing Program, where he met fellow student Victor D. LaValle, and LaValle’s Slapboxing With Jesus and Mat’s DROP were written at the same time, at opposite ends of their apartment.