The Reverend Jennie Johnson and African Canadian History, 1868-1967

The Reverend Jennie Johnson and African Canadian History, 1868-1967

Nina Reid-Maroney

Personal eBook

University of Rochester Press



This first scholarly treatment of a fascinating and understudied figure offers a unique and powerful view of nearly one hundred years of the struggle for freedom in North America.
After her conversion at a Baptist revival at sixteen, Jennie Johnson followed the call to preach. Raised in an African Canadian abolitionist community in Ontario, she immigrated to the United States to attend the African Methodist Episcopal Seminary at Wilberforce University. On an October evening in 1909 she stood before a group of Free Will Baptist preachers in the small town of Goblesville, Michigan, and was received into ordained ministry. She was the first ordained woman to serve in Canada and spent her life building churches and working for racial justice on both sides of the national border.
In this first extended study of Jennie Johnson's fascinating life, Nina Reid-Maroney reconstructs Johnson's nearly one-hundred-year story -- from her upbringing in a black abolitionist settlement in nineteenth-century Canada to her work as an activist and Christian minister in the modern civil rights movement. This critical biography of a figure who outstripped the racial and religious barriers of her time offers a unique and powerful view of the struggle for freedom in North America.

Nina Reid-Maroney is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Huron University College at Western (London, Ontario) and a coeditor of The Promised Land: History and Historiography of Black Experience in Chatham-Kent's Settlements


6 black and white illustrations
196 pages
9x6 in
Gender and Race in American History
Hardback, 9781580464475, April 2013
Personal eBook, 9781782045489, April 2013
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC SOC001000, HIS006000, HIS036000
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Related Titles

Table of Contents

"In Their Adopted Land": Johnson's Family in Canada
"As Lively Stones": Abolitionist Culture in Johnson's Dresden
A Resurrection Story: Conversion and Calling
Wilberforce University
"God Forbid That I Should Glory": Johnson and History


Winner of the Ontario Historical Society's 2013 Alison Prentice Award, which recognizes the best book on women's history in Ontario published in the past three years.

The Reverend Jennie Johnson tells the story of a remarkable figure whose varied accomplishments represent an important legacy for black history in Ontario and an example for women's rights. Reid-Maroney's account of Johnson's long life moves from the Underground Railroad era into the later, seldom explored time period that followed. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched. --Bryan Prince, author of One More River to Cross and A Shadow on the Household.

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