Wines in the Wilderness: Plays by African American Women from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present

By Elizabeth Brown-Guillory | Go to book overview
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GEORGIA, DOUGLAS JOHNSON (1880-1966)
Blue Blood ( 1926)
Safe (c. 1929)
Blue-Eyed Black Boy (c. 1930)

BIOGRAPHY AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Georgia Douglas Camp was born on September 10, 1880, in Atlanta to George and Laura Jackson Camp. She was educated in Atlanta elementary schools and then attended normal school from 1893-1896 at Atlanta University. Upon completion of the normal course, she studied music in Ohio at the Oberlin Conservatory and at the Cleveland College of Music, specializing in violin, piano, voice, and harmony. While teaching music and serving as an assistant principal in Atlanta, she met and married Henry Lincoln Johnson in 1903. The marriage produced two sons within seven years. She and her husband then moved to Washington, D.C., where Henry Johnson established a law firm and became a very influential politician, and Georgia Douglas Johnson attended Howard University. Like her husband, she was involved in the city's social and political arenas. She was particularly active in most of the groups and organizations in the Washington area that focused on issues surrounding women and minorities.

Her husband's death of a stroke in 1925 left Georgia Douglas Johnson with ample time to write. Between 1926 and 1936, usually on Saturday nights, black authors from across the United States fellowshipped in Johnson's home, which made her almost a household name and made Washington, D.C., another mecca for the "New Negro" artists. Founder of the S Street Salon, she opened her house to a host of black writers, including Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Alain Locke, Jessie Fauset, S. Randolph Edmonds, Willis Richardson, Marita Bonner, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, May Miller, Owen Dodson, Sterling Brown, Angelina Weld Grimke, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, and W. E. B. Du Bois.

Recognized by many as a bit eccentric, Georgia Douglas Johnson spent the last forty years of her life literally amidst piles of papers and books, always to be found with a pad and pencil attached to a ribbon around her neck so as not to miss an idea for a literary work. She wrote and published

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