About Me


Doria Dee Johnson is a PhD candidate in U.S. history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Johnson’s scholarly work has been closely linked to her familial history. Her great-great grandfather, Anthony Crawford, was lynched in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1916.  Seeking justice Johnson helped successfully press the U.S Senate to apologize for their slowness to enact federal legislation against lynching.  Resolution 39 was passed in June 2005.

Civically engaged, Johnson sat on the United States Senate Steering Committee for the Apology, was recognized for outstanding citizenship by the Cook County Board of Commissioners, served as a Trustee of Shorefront Legacy Center and the Evanston Historical Society, was president and founder of the Roosevelt University History Club, and was awarded the University of Wisconsin Graduate Peer Mentor Award and the Kappa Alpha Psi, Tom W. Schick Scholarship Departmental Award for intellectual vigor, concern for social justice and equality.

Called a ‘change-agent’ by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and as an international lecturer, she bears witness and participated in human rights initiatives in Palestine, Israel, South Africa, Europe, Sri Lanka, Chicago, Ferguson and Cuba.

Education:  Masters in Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Bachelors in General Studies, Department of History with honors, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.

Selected Awards:  Bill Lucy Social Justice Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow, UW Madison Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, University of Chicago Black Metropolis Research Consortium Dissertation Research Fellowship, a U.S. Delegate to the Nelson Mandela International Dialogues and a Yale University Public History Institute Fellow.

Research Interests: Great Migration, African American suburbanization, oral history and memory, lynching and racialzed violence, labor, critical race, Black feminist and Womanist theory.

Johnson recently worked with Public Interest Attorney Bryan Stevenson (author of “Just Mercy”) and the Equal Justice Initiative to establish one of the few historical markers in the country dedicated to lynching, marking the site of her great-grandfather’s death.  Johnson researched the data and co-authored the two sided monument.

Google and the Equal Justice Initiative released Lynching In America website, featuring Johnson telling the story of her family’s history, contextualized by her academic focus and research synthesizing lynching with the great migration.

ESPN’S Undefeated staff voted Johnson’s article “100 Years After Lynching” one of their favorite 2016 social justice essays.  She is currently a “Scholar In Residence” at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and proud to be from #BlackSuburbia, Evanston, Illinois.