@305Magazine – Miami, FL


January 9, 2007

INTERVIEW: Brotha John 2007



Miami has many stories to tell. Some are right in your face and there are in your peripheral and you just haven’t noticed them. Just as there are stories there are the characters that play their parts. One in particular is Brotha John, a homeless man that makes signs and hangs them at the corner where he peddles for dollars. I never saw him put up the signs but I saw them. For a few days I wondered who this “Brotha John” character was. Then I began to see him on my way home from the j.o.b. (at the time) holding one of his signs asking for spare change, a homeless gentlemen. I gave him a few bucks every other day. One Wednesday morning I grabbed my camera knowing I’d run into him that afternoon. After work (out in the Redlands) I went by the intersection I usually found Brotha John at (US-1 & SW 216 St). I stopped and had a short conversation with the man behind the signs.

305: I asked him Excuse me but are you Brotha John?

BJ: That’s me…

305: Why do you put these signs up, and how many do you have?

BJ: “I recycle as much as I can but I’ve done hundreds. Its my work”

One of his signs was about the late Shawn Taylor and how if he wouldn’t have came from money he would have just been another statistic, or something to that point.

305: Brotha John, you believe that about Shawn Taylor?

BJ: Hell yeah, it’s all about money and who you are. If he wasn’t who he was then the media would have put his personal business out there and had a field day. The streets talk tho…

We spoke about Muhammad Ali and how he had worked for his entourage while he stayed in Miami. Our conversation was cut short as he had to get back to business. So we agreed to meet at a local fast food spot, I’d buy him some grub and talk. He never showed so I guess he took his gospel somewhere else. He was an interesting character to  say the least… had to share. Check the pictures below. I haven’t seen Brotha John since 2007 but if you have ask him Ali.






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