Juanita Martin: Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Black Beat Productions, Teacher, Poet, Musical Performer, U.S. Navy Veteran, Magna Cum Laude Graduate (BA, MS), Spokesperson for Stroud Scholars
Juanita Martin (In her own words)
I am Juanita Martin. As a native of Colorado Springs, I attended Bristol and Steele Elementary Schools, where a music education was stressed – from the basics in classical music to learning to square dance with the accompanying appropriate music. In my family home at 810 North Walnut Street, Colorado Springs, music was stressed, as well, in that my Aunt Bobby Stroud was an apt pianist and an aspiring piano teacher.
Because I had no compunctions about entertaining and could carry a tune, I was “drafted” as the lead singer of “The Stroud Four,” a group comprised of my two older sisters, my older brother, and me. Aunt Bobby arranged for performances in local churches and at Camp Carson (now Fort Carson) in our crowning achievement of singing to soldiers, among whom was the famous boxer, Joe Louis. I had no idea what I was doing but simply followed Bobby’s oft-rehearsed instructions to give it my all into a microphone that was taller than I and gave frequent feedback for other performers. With Bobby’s direction, there was no feedback when I performed, as my sisters danced behind me and my brother cried offstage—refusing to join us.
Singing in churches and in school choirs and glee clubs continued in Detroit, Michigan, where we were sent to join my mother and step-father. After high school graduation, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy — often entering talent contests –and was honorably discharged as a Yeoman 2nd Class (E-5) after serving four years. I am married and the mother of seven children.
Juanita Martin was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She performed as a lead singer with The Stroud Four and later served in the U.S Navy. After earning a BA and MS in Elementary Education, she went on to teach K-12 students before becoming and executive producer and founder of Black Beat Productions (BBP) with her husband, Greg Johnson. The couple now reside in Colorado Springs and continue to manage BBP/
Family & History
Juanita is the daughter of the legendary Kelly Dolphus Stroud (1928 Olympic contender, Sachs Scholarship recipient and inspiration for the Colorado College Stroud Scholars). Dolphus, as he was known, was one of the 11 remarkable children born to Rev. K.D. and Lulu Magee Stroud. Juanita is the proud mother of seven children and a loving husband.
Key Accomplishments of Juanita Martin
- Education: AA Degree, Pierce Junior College, Accounting; BA Degree, St. Joseph’s College, English; and MS Degree, University of Pennsylvania, Elementary Education
Honors and Achievements: Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society; Pi Lambda Theta Educational Society; graduated Magna Cum Laude from the above institutions
- Achieved “honorman” status in U.S. Navy boot camp and achieved Yeoman Class A School “honorman” for highest performance among peers
- Who’s Who in Colorado Springs 1993 designee by Image Productions; Phenomenal Woman designee in 1995 by Image Productions
- Pikes Peak Library Volunteer designee; host of All Pikes Peak Reads first effort (“To Kill a Mockingbird”); Christmas Unlimited facilitator at Department of Human Services (short-term); 2004 Honoree by Mid-Regional Commission for the Developmentally Disabled (MRC)
- 2010 Honoree by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., “Red Hats” Society inductee
- Co-founder of Black Beat Productions, with my husband, Greg Johnson, with weekly tv shows on Comcast Channel 17 for over 25 years
- Spokesperson for The Stroud Scholars program which “honors the legacy of two of the earliest African-American students to graduate from Colorado College, siblings Effie Stroud and Kelly Dolphus Stroud (Juanita’s father)