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Josie Johnson Papers

Identifier: GV018

Content Description

Includes drafts and correspondence related to two chapters of Josie Johnson's manuscript, newspapers, and audio and visual recordings. The manuscript chapters include "Family Values" and "Fisk University: Racial Pride and Social Uplift." Newspapers and newspaper clippings are primarily from African American owned newspapers in Minnesota; some newspaper clippings and articles reference or highlight Josie Johnson. The audio and visual recordings include interviews with and by Josie Johnson as well television and radio appearances.


  • circa

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open and available for use.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright is retained by the copyright holders.

Biographical Note

Josie Johnson (b. 1930) is an African American educator, activist, administrator, and civil rights leader. Born, in Houston, TX, Johnson has a B.A. in Sociology at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and an M.A. and Ed.D at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Johnson played an active role in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, when she lobbied professionally for bills promoting fair housing and employment opportunities. During this time Johnson was also a community organizer for Project ENABLE, a pioneering effort in developing parenting skills and strengthening family life, as well as the Minneapolis Urban League. In 1965, Johnson served as a legislative liaison and community liaison for the city of Minneapolis, and in 1971, Johnson became the first African-American to serve as a regent on the University Of Minnesota Board Of Regents.

In 1980, Johnson served as deputy campaign manager for the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign in Tennessee. She returned in the University Of Minnesota in late 1980s to join the faculty in the College of Education, and was a senior fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She later served as the associate vice-president for Academic Affairs with special responsibility for minority affairs and diversity. She held this position from 1992 to 1996.

Johnson has served as a Minneapolis Institute of Arts trustee, a Minnesota Medical Foundation trustee and sits on the advisory board of the Harriet Tubman Center. She is a recipient of the Committed to the Vision Award from the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the African American Community Endowment Fund Award.


5 Linear Feet (4 record cartons, 2 flat boxes with cassettes)


Collection includes book drafts and correspondence to and from Josie Johnson.

Physical Location

Givens Vault


The collection was donated to the Archie Givens Sr. Collection of African American Literature by Josie Johnson in 2013.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and finding aid written by Kathryn Hujda, 2016, with generous support from Creative Heritage Initiative donors. Additional accruals were processed in 2017.
Josie Johnson Papers
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Givens Collection of African American Literature Collecting Area