Violet M. Showers Johnson
Associate Dean and Professor of History
Specialty: U.S. race, ethnicity and immigration history; Africa; and the African Diaspora
Violet Showers Johnson was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, West Africa. She received her BA (Honors in History) from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone; MA from the University of New Brunswick, Canada; and Ph.D. from Boston College. She taught at Fourah Bay College before coming to the United States in 1985 on a Fulbright scholarship. After twenty years at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, she moved to Texas A&M University in July 2012. She is currently Associate Dean and Professor of History in the College of Liberal Arts. A naturalized American, Johnson’s international personal and academic background has shaped much of her work as a teacher and scholar. She focuses on race, ethnicity and immigration, African American history, African history, and the history of the African Diaspora. She has written extensively on the Black immigrant experience in America. Her publications include The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston (Indiana University Press, 2006); “What, then, is the African American? African and Afro-Caribbean Identities in Black America” (Journal of American Ethnic History, 2008); with Marilyn Halter, African & American: West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America (NYU Press, 2014). She served as lead editor for a volume of essays entitled Deferred Dreams, Defiant Struggles: Critical Perspectives on Blackness, Belonging, and Civil Rights (Liverpool University Press, 2018). Dr. Johnson is currently working on a single authored monograph tentatively titled “Black While Foreign: African, Afro-Caribbean Immigrants and Race and Racism in Late Twentieth-Century America.” She is president of the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR), a professional academic organization based in Europe.