Georgia Douglas Johnson

1880–1966

A member of the Harlem Renaissance, Georgia Douglas Johnson wrote plays, a syndicated newspaper column, and four collections of poetry: The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962).

Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents of African American, Native American, and English descent. She graduated from Atlanta University Normal College and studied music at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland College of Music. After graduation, she taught and worked as an assistant principal. In 1910 she moved with her husband to Washington, D.C. When her husband died in 1925, Johnson supported her two sons by working temporary jobs until she was hired by the Department of Labor.

Johnson’s house at 1461 S Street NW, which came to be known as site of the S Street Salon, was an important meeting place for writers of the Harlem Renaissance in Washington, D.C. Johnson published her first poems in 1916 in the NAACP’s magazine Crisis. Her weekly column, “Homely Philosophy,” was published from 1926 to 1932. She wrote numerous plays, including Blue Blood (performed 1926) and Plumes (performed 1927). Johnson traveled widely in the 1920s to give poetry readings. In 1934 she lost her job in the Department of Labor and returned to supporting herself with temporary clerical work.

Johnson received an honorary doctorate in literature from Atlanta University in 1965.

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Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

LIFE SPAN 1880–1966

Biography

A member of the Harlem Renaissance, Georgia Douglas Johnson wrote plays, a syndicated newspaper column, and four collections of poetry: The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962). Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents of African American, Native American, and English descent. She graduated from Atlanta University Normal College and studied music at the Oberlin . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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