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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 of 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 her contemporaries had praised her.

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 targeted young girls with stories, and The Ivy spread awareness of African American history. Her works include children's literature, Sunday school fiction, and three novels: Clarence and Corrinne, 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

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

*Jack Johnson licked one pug so, d man retired to a farm. Never again opened his mouth save to talk abt peach-trees, sow & last year’s almanac; And whenever somebody say... WHITE HOPE (for shane stevens) by Ishmael Reed.
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