Ollie Johnson

Ollie Johnson

Department Chair



5057 Woodward Avenue, Room 11002



African American Studies

Ollie Johnson

Ollie Johnson is chair and professor of the Department of African American Studies at Wayne State University.  Johnson has conducted extensive research on the Black political experience in the Americas. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.    

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

 African American, Afro-Brazilian, and Afro-Latin American Politics


  • Abdias Nascimento and Brazilian politics
  • Afro-Brazilian political activism and representation


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1993
  • M.A., Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1987
  • M.A., Brazilian Studies, Brown University, 1986
  • B.A., Afro-American Studies, International Relations, Brown University, 1984

Selected publications


  • Kwame Dixon and Ollie A. Johnson III, Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America (New York: Routledge, 2019)
  • Ollie A. Johnson III and Rosana Heringer, eds. Race, Politics, and Education in Brazil: Affirmative Action in Higher Education (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
  • Ollie A. Johnson III and Karin L. Stanford, eds., Black Political Organizations in the Post-Civil Rights Era (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2003)
  • Ollie A. Johnson III, Brazilian Party Politics and the Coup of 1964 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001)


  • "Locating Blacks in Brazilian Politics: Afro-Brazilian Activism, New Political Parties, and Pro-Black Public Policies," International Journal of Africana Studies (Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2006), 170-193
  • "Pluralist Authoritarianism in Comparative Perspective: White Supremacy, Male Supremacy, and Regime Classification," National Political Science Review (Vol. 7, 1999), 116-136
  • "Racial Representation and Brazilian Politics: Black Members of the National Congress, 1983-1999," Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs (Vol. 40, No. 4, Winter 1998), 97-118


  • "Blacks in National Politics," in Ollie A. Johnson III and Rosana Heringer, eds., Race, Politics, and Education in Brazil: Affirmative Action in Higher Education (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 17-58
  • "Malcolm X and the Cuban Revolution," in Rita Kiki Edozie and Curtis Stokes, eds., Malcolm X's Michigan Worldview: An Exemplar for Contemporary Black Studies (Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2015), 263-277. 
  • "Race, Politics, and Afro-Latin Americans," in Peter Kingstone and Deborah J. Yashar, eds., Routledge Handbook of Latin American Politics (New York: Routledge, 2012), 302-318
  • "Black Activism in Ecuador, 1979-2009," in Kwame Dixon and John Burdick, eds., Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012), 176-197
  • "Afro-Brazilian Politics: White Supremacy, Black Struggle, and Affirmative Action," in Peter R. Kingstone and Timothy J. Power, eds., Democratic Brazil Revisited (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), 209-230
  • "Black Politics in Latin America: An Analysis of National and Transnational Politics," in Wilbur C. Rich, ed., African American Perspectives on Political Science (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007), 55-75. 
  • "Explaining the Demise of the Black Panther Party: The Role of Internal Factors," in Charles E. Jones, ed., The Black Panther Party Reconsidered (Black Classic Press, 1998), 391-414

Courses taught by Ollie Johnson

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022