From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Johnson, William D.

(born: 1860) 

Born in England to an English father and a mother from Bengal, India, W. D. Johnson considered himself a Negro. He was the first African American to earn a diploma from the Phonographic Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. Johnson was editor of The Lexington Standard, an African American newspaper in Lexington, KY. His bold editorials advocated civil rights for African Americans. W. D. Johnson left Kentucky when he was granted a job with the General Land Office in Washington, D.C. The job was a token of appreciation for Johnson's loyalty to the Republican Party during William H. Taft's 1908 campaign for President of the United States. In 1910, W. D. Johnson and his wife, Martha P. Johnson, a Kentucky native, lived at the home of Henry P. Slaughter [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Slaughter was a former editor of The Lexington Standard newspaper. W. D. Johnson is listed in the census as a black male in 1900 and as a white male in 1910. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Johnson, William D.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:23