For Great Michigan Read inquiries:

Katie Wittenauer
Director of Programs

kwittenauer “at” mihumanities.org
or call 517-372-7770

Help Support Michigan Humanities

Dr. Michelle S. Johnson

About: Michelle S. Johnson is a public scholar in the fields of African American history, literature and cultural production. As a professor, Dr. Johnson hones her identity as a public scholar in cultural studies and creates programs and classroom environments that provide significant academic skills while retaining and encouraging students to think critically and creatively.

During her work as the Freedom Trail coordinator for the State of Michigan, Dr. Johnson solidified her public scholarship and leadership and expanded her contribution to assist professional and lay-historians in the preservation, documentation, and promotion of Underground Railroad histories. In that position, she oversaw the development of a broad-based archival based curriculum for 3rd, 4th, and 8th grade students and served as a visible state and regional spokesperson.

Dr. Johnson currently consults on a Michigan Historical Museum project where she documents the people, stories, and places of Black Michigan history. She researches, writes, and lectures for academic and public settings on aspects of African American culture including Paradise Valley, Idlewild and Saginaw. As the co-founder and former Executive Director of Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, Johnson directed the Kalamazoo arts and cultural non-profit to become the go-to organization for emerging artists and cultural producers, best practices in youth development and creative social justice.

Possible Topics: Placing X: A Novel in Michigan Cultural History; X: A Novel and Reclaiming Michigan’s Son; Legacy, Memory, and Place in X: A Novel

Travel: Dr. Johnson is available to travel within 2–2.5 hours outside of Grand Rapids, though is open to other locations if time permits.

Contact: To schedule an appearance contact Dr. Johnson by emailing michellesjohnson.mi@gmail.com or calling 269-873-6828.