Skip to Main Content

African American Women Writers

Georgia Douglas Johnson (1880-1966), African American poet and dramatist, was among the most prominent women writers of the Harlem Renaissance, a watershed period of African American literary and artistic expression during the 1920s and '30s. She was highly prolific, and between 1918 and 1930 is known to have written more than 200 poems and dozens of plays, songs and short stories, as well as editing some 100 books. Only a fraction of this work was published, however, and many of her manuscripts are lost. In her lyric poetry, for which she is primarily known, Johnson generally maintained the voice of a genteel, middle-class woman, avoiding issues of race and seeking instead to develop universal themes and to prove her poetic ability within the Anglo-American tradition. In her plays, however, which have begun to receive serious critical attention only since the 1980s, Johnson demonstrated her fierce stance against racial injustice, particularly the brutal practice of lynching that terrorized African Americans from the time of their emancipation in the 1860s until the 1950s. With the benefit of contemporary scholarship, Johnson has been recognized as a pioneering figure in early twentieth-century African American drama.

Genre: Drama; Poetry

More about Georgia Douglas Johnson at ProQuest One Literature

By Georgia Douglas Johnson 

About Georgia Douglas Johnson