Sherita L. Johnson

Associate Professor of English, Director of Center for Black Studies

Dr. Sherita L. Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she specializes in nineteenth-century African American literature, black women writers, Jim Crow literature and cultural studies. She has also taught study abroad courses of Caribbean literature in Jamaica with USM’s International Programs. The author of Black Women in New South Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2010), Johnson has served as guest editor of The Southern Quarterly for two themed-issues: " 'My Southern Home': The Lives and Literature of 19th-Century Southern Black Writers" (Spring 2008) and “Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary” (Fall 2014). Her current project examines “the negro problem” in light of early developments of a civil rights movement, race literature, and the culture of segregation. Since 2011, she has served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi.

For list of publications, please click here.

Link to Dr. Johnson's book: Black Women in New South Literature and Culture


Group Name: The Freedom50 Research Group

Research Topic: “Measure of Racial Progress”

Primary Coordinator: Dr. Sherita L. Johnson

Associate Professor, Department of English

Director, Center for Black Studies

The Freedom50 Research Group, as organized by the Center for Black Studies, launched investigations  about the (in)visible signs of cultural change that have occurred at racialized sites of trauma and memory and of segregated social space. To reframe the haunting issue of racism, as branded by the state of Mississippi, we are identifying and addressing instead social problems today that lie at the intersection of race, politics, and region. The Freedom50 Research Group is an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the fields of English, History, and Mass Communication and Journalism.

Grant Awards

$2,000 / USM College of Arts and Letters: Principle Investigator, Freedom50 Research Group; faculty seminar and interdisciplinary project development

  • Organizer/Speaker, Lecture Series, “ ‘Can We Achieve This Togetherness In Our Time?’”: A Clyde Kennard Lecture Series (Spring 2017)

$7,500 / Mississippi Humanities Council: Principle Investigator, “Measure of Progress: The Clyde Kennard Story,” documentary film project (Summer / Fall 2017)