Briana “Beautiful” Johnson
Bio of Deaf/ Hard of Hearing Female Rapper/Dancer “Beautiful”
My name is Briana Johnson and I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. At the tender age of four, my mother was told by my pediatrician at Scottish Rite Hospital that I was deaf and that I was born that way. This was devastating news to most of my family but not to my mother. She was amazed that I could talk with her, my family, friends, and teachers for four years and she did not know that I was deaf. My mother was the only person who did not cry or exhibit any pity towards me. She instead told me that being deaf was a “Beautiful” thing and that I was created in the image of God and that all things are possible for me and she also told me that I was her “Beautiful” blessed baby girl who can be and do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. That’s where my stage name “Beautiful” comes from. The name was inspired by my mother’s encouraging words and support and since then, I have lived by those words every day. My mother formed a children’s gospel group called “Dear Children” where she taught children to sing, dance, and the Word of God. I assisted in the choreography of some of our performance routines. “Dear Children” was a local children’s gospel singing group that performed throughout Georgia. This is where music, dancing, and performing became a strong passion of mine. I began writing my own music and even recorded my music in the studio. There was a time when I was the only deaf student in my class and I was severely picked on and bullied. This inspired me to prove that just because I am deaf did not mean I could not succeed or that being deaf was ugly. I studied, over articulated, and accepted being deaf so that I or other deaf children would not be overlooked and misunderstood. I was a straight “A” honor student, an Honor Society member, a cheerleader captain, and on the Dance/Step Team. I earned a full academic scholarship and earned a BA degree in Government/Law from Gallaudet University. I was crowned Miss Black Deaf America 2009-2011 and I use my platform to advocate for my “Beautiful” deaf culture. I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to several states to perform for DeafNation Expo events, Apollo in NYC, National Black Advocates Banquet and much more. I want the world to know about the deaf community and to learn sign language so that we all can be included in every conversation and activities as well. This is how the birth of my company Signdance was formed. In 2018, I formed a dance company called Signdance with the motto that states “Let’s Groove to the Beat and Learn Sign Language.” It’s through my music and my dance company that I continue to spread awareness about the deaf community as well as bridge any gaps between the hearing and deaf community as well.