Profile: John Johnson, Jr.

Institute Fellow


John Johnson, Jr., is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Graduate School of Newark at Rutgers University – Newark. He received his PhD from Rutgers University-Newark in American Studies in 2014. His research and teaching interests are centered on the political and cultural history of 20th century United States, African American history, and urban history. His dissertation tells the long history of the storied Weequahic Section of Newark. In it he traces the development of the neighborhood, from its origins as a 19th century pastoral countryside to its growth as a modern working and middle class neighborhood in an expanding metropolis. The center of the study focuses on the transition of Weequahic from a Jewish enclave to an African American community, and the role of local politics, as well as federal housing and highway policies in undermining the economic stability of Weequahic and Newark, all the while supporting the development of the surrounding suburbs.

A son of the city and proud alumnus of Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School, John presently serves as the interim executive director for Celebration Newark 350.