Viola Johnson [Edit]

Viola Johnson, also called V.M. Johnson and Mama Vi Johnson (born 1950) is an American BDSM/leather activist and author.

Involvement in BDSM/Leather

In the early 1970s, she joined the BDSM and leather scenes.

In 1988, she became an honorary member of Tulsa Uniform Leather Seekers Association (T.U.L.S.A).

She contributed “Journal entries” to the book Some Women, which was edited by Laura Antoniou and published by Masquerade Books, Inc, in 1995. The book consists of pieces written by women involved in consensual dominance and submission.

In 1999, her book To Love, to Obey, to Serve: Diary of an Old Guard Slave was published by Mystic Rose Books.

In 2005, she and Jill Carter started what became The Carter/Johnson Library & Collection, a “collection of thousands of books, magazines, posters, art, club and event pins, newspapers, event programs and ephemera showing leather, fetish, S/M erotic history”, as its website says, which is exhibited every year at the Master/slave Conference (MsC).

Also in 2005, she was the keynote speaker for the Master/slave Conference (MsC).

She was a judge for many leather-related contests, including Ms. World Leather.

She was on the board of directors of the Leather Archives & Museum, and is now on the board of governors for the Leather Hall of Fame.

Notable Honors

  • 1995: National Leather Association‘s Jan Lyon Award for Regional or Local Work
  • 1995: National Leather Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1995: Pantheon of Leather Lifetime Achievement Award (Johnson was the first person to receive the National Leather Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pantheon of Leather Lifetime Achievement Award in the same year.)
  • 1998: Pantheon of Leather Couple of the Year Award (shared with Jill Carter and Queen Cougar)
  • 2000: Pantheon of Leather Woman of the Year Award
  • 2005: Master/slave Conference slave Heart Award
  • 2005: SouthEast LeatherFest Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award
  • 2005: Pantheon of Leather Forebear Award (tied for the win with David S. Kloss)
  • 2012: Master/slave Conference Guy Baldwin Master/slave Heritage Award
  • 2012: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leather Leadership Award (Johnson was the first woman to be given this award.)
  • 2018: The Carter/Johnson Library & Collection received the Nonprofit Organization of the Year award as part of the Pantheon of Leather Awards
  • Unknown date: Johnson was inducted into the Society of Janus‘s Hall of Fame.
  • Unknown date: the Vi Johnson Award from Black Beat was named after her

Personal Life

She is married to Jill Carter. She is African-American.