Walter Johnson is the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He grew up in Columbia, Missouri, and is a member of the Rock Bridge High School Hall of Fame (2006). His prize-winning books, Soul by Soul: Life Inside in the Antebellum Slave Market (1999) and River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Mississippi Valley’s Cotton Kingdom (2013), were published by Harvard University Press. His autobiographical essay, “Guns in the Family,” was included in the 2019 edition of Best American Essays; it was originally published in the Boston Review, of which Johnson is a contributing editor. The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States was published in 2020. Johnson is a founding member of the Commonwealth Project, which brings together academics, artists, and activists in an effort to imagine, foster, and support revolutionary social change, beginning in St. Louis.
Johnson’s videos are used in these Choices Program curriculum units:
Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies
The Civil War and the Meaning of Liberty
We the People: A New Nation
- Walter Johnson
- December 3, 2018