Faculty & Staff

photo of Robert Johnson, Jr.

Robert Johnson, Jr., JD

  • Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Telephone: 617.287.6794
  • Office Location: Wheatley Hall,04,00100

Areas of Expertise

Race and American Legal System; Repatriation Movements; Africana Theories; Africana Image on Stage, Screen and Television


JD, Cornell Law School

Additional Information

Robert Johnson, Jr. Curriculum Vitae [PDF]


Editor, Nantucket’s People of Color: Essays on History, Politics and Community (University Press of America, 2006)

Returning Home: A Century of African-American Repatriation

(Trenton: Africa World Press, 2005)

Race, Law and Public Policy: Cases and Materials on Law and Public Policy of Race, 2nd Ed.

(Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 2003)

Two Plays of Initiation: Stop and Frisk, The Train Ride

(London: Nsibidi Africana Publishers, 2003)

Why Blacks Left America for Africa: Interviews with Black Repatriates, 1971-1999 (New York: Praeger, 1999)

Race, Law and Public Policy: Cases and Materials on Law and Public Policy of Race (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1998)

Shona Gary N. Van Wyk, Robert Johnson, Jr., (New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 1997)


Editor, Fighting for Africa: The Pan-African Contributions of Ambassador Dudley J. Thompson and Bill Sutherland

(Under review by The University of the West Indies Press)


“Patience A. Cooper: A Re-evaluation of her Arrest and Trial on Nantucket,” pages 114-131, in Nantucket’s People of Color: Essays on History, Politics and Community, Robert Johnson, Jr., Editor (University Press of America, 2006)

“Introduction” to George M. Stroud’s Stroud’s Slave Laws, (first published in 1856, re-issued by Black Classic Press in June, 2005)

"When Sorry Isn’t Enough: The Controversy Over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustice," Pages 427-434, in Repatriation as Reparations for Slavery and Jim Crowism, Roy L. Brooks, (New York: New York University Press, 1999)

"Is the Federal Government Trying to Destroy the Black Community?: A Critical Evaluation of Conspiracy Theories in the Twentieth Century," in State of the Race, Jemadari Kamara, (Boston: African American Institute for Research and Empowerment, 1997)

"The Nature and Limits of Affirmative Action," Pages 151-170, in The Next Decade: Theoretical and Research Issues in Africana Studies (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1982)


Teaching About Africa and Its Diaspora: “A Method for High School Teachers of Africana History,” January 1, 2004. This method is used in the African Diaspora Project, an educational enrichment course and program for the Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

“Criminal Convictions and Employment Dismissals: A Mounting Challenge to American Equal Opportunity Laws,” presented at Oxford Round Table’s Conference on Employment Discrimination and the Law at Oxford University, Oxford, England on March 15, 2004. Oxford Round Table is reviewing the paper for possible publication.

Black-White Relations on Nantucket from 1773 to 1863, Historic Nantucket, Vol. 51, No. 1 (2003)

“Affirmative Action and the Academic Profession” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Volume 448 (The Academic Profession), March, 1980

“Mama's Boy,” International Journal of Black Drama, Volume 1, (Philadelphia: Temple University, 1995)

“Political Economy of Criminal Oppression,” Black Scholar, April, 1977

“Boston: Bitter Battleground for School Desegregation,” Ithaca New Times, December 8, 1974


“History as prelude,” a review of Sarah’s Long Walk: “The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America, by Stephen Kendrick & Paul Kendrick (Boston: Beacon Press) published in CommonWealth, Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2005


Sugar Hill, co-authored with Amy Ansara and produced at Erhlich Theatre, Boston, March 14 through April 17, 1991

Mama's Boy, produced at Kenya National Theatre, Nairobi, Kenya, January, 1972

Coffee and Sour Cream, produced at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine and in Boston, 1968

The Train Ride, selected for production as part of Playwrights Platforms’ 26th Annual Summer Festival of New Plays, Massachusetts College of Art, June 1998

Stop and Frisk, produced at Strand Theatre, Boston, November 25-27, 1994; Staged reading at Playwrights Platforms’ Annual Summer Festival of New Plays, Massachusetts College of Art, June 1994

Freedom’s Journeyman, a play Commissioned by Bowdoin College Bicentennial Committee, Co-authored with Amy Merrill Ansara, Produced March 4-6, 1994 at Bowdoin College.

The Train Ride, presented in workshop by Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center on October 1, 1999 and at University of Massachusetts Boston on October 22, 1999.

The Train Ride, presented in workshop at American Theatre of Actors, New York City, February, 2001

Patience of Nantucket presented as a staged reading by Uptown Players and James Bradford Ames Fellowship at African Meeting House on Nantucket in June, 2003.

Act 1, Scene 6 of Patience of Nantucket presented in Showcase as part of The New Diaspora Theatre Festival on May 21, 2004 at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Patience of Nantucket, presented in staged reading at National Black Theatre Festival, Winston-Salem, North Carolina on August 7, 2005.