Wesleyan portrait of Khalil Anthony Johnson

Khalil Anthony Johnson

Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Center for African American St, 226

Assistant Professor, Education Studies

Center for African American St,


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BA University of Georgia Athens
MPHIL Yale University
PHD Yale University

Khalil Anthony Johnson

Khalil Anthony Johnson, Jr., specializes in the intertwined histories of the African diaspora and Indigenous people in North America, with emphases on U.S. settler colonialism, education, and counter-hegemonic social movements. While teaching elementary school on the Navajo Nation, he unwittingly joined a historic cohort of African Americans who taught in reservation boarding schools as employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the civil rights era. In his current manuscript project, Schooled: The Education of Black and Indigenous People in the United States and Abroad, 1730-1980, Johnson historicizes the Post-War migration of hundreds of African American educators to Indian Country ultimately unearthed a colonial genealogy of four generations of social reformers, missionaries, philanthropists, activists, and teachers who, since the eighteenth century, have used schooling to reconcile the founding cataclysms of the United States––the ongoing presence of Indigenous nations, free black people, and non-white immigrants. The result is a dramatic and transnational reinterpretation of American education and its consequences for colonized peoples across the globe.

Dr. Johnson’s research has received support from numerous institutions, including the Ford Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, and, most recently, a predoctoral teaching fellowship at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. His essays and editorials have appeared in American Quarterly, Pacific Historical Review, and The Navajo Times. In 2015, he received recognition from the Western History Association for the year’s best essay on Native American history. His teaching areas include courses in the history of emancipatory education and U.S. empire, early African American history, American Indian history, and popular music.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

On scholarly leave for the 2023-2024 academic year.


Fall 2024
AFAM 101 - 01
Intro to Africana Studies

AFAM 248 - 01
Race, Ethnicity & Music