Georgia Douglas Johnson (1880-1966)
Georgia Douglas Johnson (1880-1966) wrote four books of poetry, several plays, and a magazine column. She began writing poetry and stories when she and her husband moved to Washington, DC in 1910, mostly being published in magazines and newspapers at first. Johnson cited a William Stanley Braithwaite poem as her poetic inspiration. She was also musically gifted, as she taught herself the violin and also wrote songs, taught music, and played the organ at her church. She was also an assistant principal at a school in Atlanta, Georgia for a time. Johnson served as the Commissioner of Conciliation after her husband’s death, and went on to hold weekly literary/political salons at her home, which was nicknamed the “Half-Way House” and was a creative and political outlet for members of the Harlem Renaissance for 40 years. She died in Washington, DC. In 2009, it was announced that she would be included in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Her poetry often centered on racial issues from a woman’s perspective. Her poetry books include The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962).
Beltway Poetry Quarterly, two essays by Valerie Jean and Kim Roberts, various issues: http://www.beltwaypoetry.com/poetry/poets/names/johnson-georgia-douglas/ DC Writers’ Homes: http://dcwriters.poetrymutual.org/pages/johnsongd.html
Written by Monica Root November 2013