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Guy B. Johnson (1901-1991) was a sociologist and social anthropologist. He was a distinguished student of black culture in the rural South and a pioneer advocate of racial equality.



Johnson was born in Caddo Mills, Texas. He married Guion Griffis, a noted historian, and together they had 2 sons Guy Benton, Jr. and Edward.[1]

Academic career

Johnson graduated with a BA from Baylor University the University of Chicago and an MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D., 1927). After teaching a year each at Ohio Wesleyan University and Baylor College for Women (now Mary-Hardin Baylor), Johnson was recruited to North Carolina as a research assistant in Howard W. Odum's new Institute for Research in Social Science in 1924, which he never left for long. He taught at Chapel Hill from 1927 until he retired as Kenan Professor of Sociology and Anthropology in 1969.

His main writings were on southern Black folk culture and U.S. race relations, his interests and accomplishments were broad. In Folk Culture, he analyzed the Gullah dialect of English spoken by blacks on that isolated South Carolina island and, in sophisticated technical detail, the musical structure of the spirituals they sang to support a new interpretation of black folk culture.


  1. ^ Johnson, Guy (June 2006). "Guy Benton Johnson Papers, 1830-1882, 1901-1987". University of North Carolina, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. Archived from the original on 22 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 

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