Sivad Johnson’s Legacy Lives On

by Eboni T. Thomas

Book Published Posthumously and Boat Named in Honor of Inspirational Speaker, Artist & Detroit Fire Dept. Sergeant Who Gave His Life to Help Rescue Three Girls From Drowning

The story of Sivad Johnson giving his life bravely by diving into the Detroit River to help rescue three young girls touched many people across the world. His heroic effort and ultimate sacrifice made international headlines. The White House recognized him in a letter to his family. Detroit honored him with a memorial service, Spirit of Detroit Award, and a fire boat named for him.

Johnson served 26 years in the Detroit Fire Department, achieving the rank of sergeant, and earning numerous citations, including the Medal of Valor. He was off duty visiting Belle Isle Beach last summer with his youngest daughter. She watched him go into the water with other civilians to help the struggling girls. After they were saved, she didn’t see him come back out.

Imagining a 10-year-old girl witness this act, praying for the overnight search for her father, and hearing the news of his body’s recovery the next day brought even strangers to tears. It was devastating to me and my family because Sivad was my brother.

I had just seen him the week before he transitioned. He and my nieces came to spend time with me, my husband and our children in Georgia. Sivad had just completed writing a book he asked me to begin editing. His goal was to prep it for publishing by the end of 2020 – the year he would have reached age 50.

I am humbled and honored to share the site for his book went live for pre-orders on December 31, the anniversary of our mother’s earthly departure. I worked with T.A.L.K. Publishing, a Black-owned, woman-owned company based in the US, which our family is proud to support, in producing the parting words Sivad left for the world.

More about his book
Becoming A Diamond: The Strongest, Most Valuable Version of You is a short, but powerful memoir with a self-development message to inspire you to get the most out of your life. As the reader, you will journey with Sivad from his early work into his heart for art, his dedication to fighting fires and saving lives, to his remarkable practices of discipline.

Furthermore, if you’re a property owner and your fire alarm system or water-based fire protection system is not functional, then you are required to implement a fire watch. You may seek expert help from a professional Fire Watch Company in Fort Pierce.

The book outlines the four “C’s” for you to evolve into a metaphorical diamond. In each chapter, the author offers “defining” and “refining” thoughts while trekking through life’s labyrinth of decisions. To learn more and purchase, visit: It is also now available on Amazon, and wherever books are sold.

More about his legacy
Sivad Johnson was an inspirational speaker, gifted artist, and loving father of two. An avid storyteller, he gained national attention for his stories with The Moth on stage and the radio. As a keynote, panelist, and member of Toastmasters International, he spoke to youth groups, students, and adults. His inspirational messages on YouTube and his clothing designs live on via links at

0 comment

You may also like