2021-22 BTC Calendar: Sheary Darcus Johnson


05-sheary-darcus-portrait-JMU.jpgSheary Darcus Johnson (’70, ’74M) did not set out to be a trailblazer — but recognized as Madison’s first African American graduate (who helped break the color line at Harrisonburg High School before that) — the mantle nonetheless fell on her shoulders. After graduating, Johnson became the librarian at a Harrisonburg elementary school. In 1978 she and her husband, Russell Johnson (’74), moved to Richmond where she became a high school head librarian. She then earned her doctorate at the University of Virginia and joined the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she taught library science and supervised student teachers before leaving for full-time ministry. The author of two books, Johnson administered Victory Academy of Early Learning at the church she and her husband founded in Richmond and also founded a nonprofit to educate youth and adults. Attending Madison, Johnson says, “was one of the wisest decisions that I made because of what I gained, and I’ve been able to use that to help others.”

Editor’s note: In February of 2021, JMU’s Board of Visitors approved naming a building on the Quad after Johnson. See the story.

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Published: Monday, March 15, 2021

Last Updated: Monday, May 24, 2021

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