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Fred Johnson

Fred Johnson
Associate Professor
of History (2000)

Lubbers Hall 325
126 East 10th Street
Holland, MI 49423

B.S., Bowie State Univeristy
M.A., Kent State University
Ph.D., Kent State Univeristy

Dr. Fred L. Johnson III is Associate Professor of History at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Prior to his career in higher education, Dr. 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.

Dr. Johnson earned his Masters and doctorate degrees at Kent State University in Kent, 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.

Dr. 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. 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 Dr. 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, Dr. Johnson was voted by the Hope graduating class to receive the H.O.P.E. (Hope Outstanding Professor Educator) award. Dr. Johnson has also earned acclaim as an award winning speaker in the Toastmasters organization. In 2007 and 2008, he advanced to the semifinal rounds of the World Series of Public Speaking competition. He has once again advanced to the semifinal rounds and hopes to win the competition scheduled for mid-August 2010.

In 2008, Dr. Johnson ran for U.S. House of Representatives as the Democratic nominee for Michigan’s 2nd District. In September 2009, he announced that he was once more running for Congress and has been busy campaigning.


Courses Taught
HIST 130 Introduction to Ancient Civilizations
HIST 131 Introduction to Modern European History
HIST 160 U.S. History to 1877
HIST 251 Revolutionary America – Visionaries, Rebels, and Ruffians
HIST 252 Civil War America – Disruption and Destiny
HIST 295 African American History
HIST 351 Slavery and Race in America, 1619 – present
HIST 355 History of U.S. Foreign Policy, 1898 – present – Power, Promise, Peril
HIST 361 U.S. Military History: Rise of a Warrior Democracy
HIST 495 History Seminar


Current Research

Research continues for a book on the history of U.S. Foreign Policy in Africa since WWII. The working title is: America’s Blind Spot: U.S. Foreign Policy in Africa, 1945 – present.

Work is also being conducted to complete a manual for African American college students. The working title is: The African American Students’ Guide to College Success.

A series of essays are being written which focuses upon the challenges that are confronting African Americans in the early 21st Century. The working title for this book is While Black People Were Sleeping.

Information is being gathered, interviews are being conducted, and the narrative is being written and reviewed for the political memoir of my 2008 and 2010 Congressional runs for office. The working title is: Years of the Goose.



Tupac Shakur: the Life and Times of an American Icon (Perseus, January 2010), co-authored with Tayannah McQuillar.

"The Chasm is Wide: Unspoken Antagonisms between Africans and African Americans,” in The United States and West Africa, edited by Allusine Jalloh and Toyin Falola, University of Rochester Press, 2008.

Bittersweet (One World/Random House, January 2002)

A Man Finds His Way (One World/Random House, 2003)

Other Men’s Wives (One World/Random House, 2005)



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