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Thu, 01.14.1858

Amelia E. Johnson, Canadian Writer born

Amelia Johnson

*The birth of Amelia E. Johnson is celebrated on this date in 1858.  She was a Black Canadian writer, novelist, and poet.

Amelia Etta Hall was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her parents were natives of Maryland, Amelia Etta Hall Johnson was educated in Montreal. In 1874 she moved to Boston. She was married to a Baptist minister, the Rev. Harvey Johnson, whom she met after moving to Boston. She also published in many well-known Black print venues, such as The Baptist Messenger, The American Baptist, and Our Women and Children.  

As an editor, she sought to encourage other writers with African ancestry by publishing their works in a short periodical. Writing under the name Mrs. A. E. Johnson, her approach to fiction has been compared to Emma Dunham Kelley and Paul Laurence Dunbar, focusing on the social circumstances of her characters rather than identifying ethnic or "racial" aspects. The study of her works by literary critics after a century of obscurity renewed interest in Johnson, though she had been praised by her contemporaries.

In 1887, she published The Joy and, in 1888, she published The Ivy. These short-lived magazines targeted young Blacks and educated them about their culture, The Joy targeting young girls with stories and The Ivy spreading awareness of African American history. Her works include children's literature, Sunday school fiction, and three novels: Clarence and Corrinne, which was the first Black-authored work to be published by the American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia, The Hazeley Family (1894), and Martina Meriden (1901). She is also the English translator of "Sleeping Beauty" by Charles Perrault (Dodd Mead and Company, 1921. Amelia E. Johnson died in 1922.

To be a Writer
To Become an Editor
To Become a Desktop Publisher

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