H14-1857. Johnson III, Fred L. Papers, 2001-[ongoing]. 0.25 linear ft.


Hope College

Document Type



Fred L. Johnson III, became an assistant professor of history at Hope College in 2000. He received his B.S. from Bowie State University, M.A. from Kent State University, and Ph.D. from Kent State University. Prior to his career in higher education, Johnson served as a Communications-Electronics and Infantry Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. In the private sector, he worked as a Production Scheduler for Packard–Electric Division of General Motors, Operations Specialist for Contel Page Telecommunications, and as a Corporate Trainer for Aircraft Braking Systems (formerly Goodyear Aerospace) in Akron, Ohio. His primary field of study is 19th Century U.S. History, specifically, the Civil War. His other areas of expertise include 20th Century U.S., U.S. Military, and Africa. He is currently completing research for the book America’s Blind Spot: U.S. Foreign Policy in Africa, 1945–present. Johnson has also developed a solid reputation as a novelist. His novels include Bittersweet, One World/Random House, January 2002; A Man Finds His Way, One World/Random House, 2003; and Other Men’s Wives, One World/Random House, 2005. His writing accomplishments also include co-authoring with Tayannah Lee McQuillar the biography Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an America Icon (De Capo Press, 2010). He is also at work on other projects including a collection of essays entitled While Black People Were Sleeping. Among his many awards, in 2002, Johnson was selected by the Hope College student body to receive the Hope Favorite Professor Award. In 2003, the Hope senior class selected him to deliver the commencement address. In 2005, Johnson was voted by the Hope graduating class to receive the H.O.P.E. (Hope Outstanding Professor Educator) award. Johnson has also earned acclaim as an award-winning speaker in the Toastmasters organization. In 2007, 2008, and 2010, he advanced to the semifinal rounds of the World Series of Public Speaking competition. In 2008 and 2010, Johnson ran for U.S. House of Representatives as the Democratic nominee for Michigan’s 2nd District. The collection includes biographical information, his 2003 commencement address to Hope College graduates, and the February 17, 2010, lecture he gave at the Mortar Board Last Lecture Series titled “He Did His Part…Let It Not Be in Vain.”


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