Charles Johnson

Sociologist, Author

1893 – 1956

73

Who was Charles Johnson?

Charles Spurgeon Johnson was an American sociologist and college administrator, the first black president of historically black Fisk University, and a lifelong advocate for racial equality and the advancement of civil rights for African Americans and all ethnic minorities. He preferred to work collaboratively with liberal white groups in the South, quietly as a "sideline activist," to get practical results.

His position is often contrasted with that of W. E. B. Du Bois, who was a powerful and militant advocate for blacks and described Johnson as "too conservative." During Johnson's academic studies and leadership of Fisk University during the 1930s and 1940s, the South had legal racial segregation and Jim Crow discriminatory laws and practices, including having disfranchised most black voters in constitutions passed at the turn of the century. Johnson was unwavering in personal terms in his opposition to this oppressive system, yet worked hard to change race relations in terms of short-term practical gains.

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Born
1893
Bristol
Also known as
  • Charles S. Johnson
  • Charles S. Johnson
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • University of Chicago
  • Virginia Union University
Lived in
  • Virginia
Died
Oct 27, 1956
Louisville

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Charles Johnson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 18 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/charles_s_johnson>.

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