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

Johnson, Mary Christine Claybourne

(born: 1909  -  died: 1999) 

Mary Christine Claybourne Johnson was born in Versailles, KY, according to her biographical information, and in Georgetown, KY, according to her U.S. Social Security application [in]. She grew up in Powder House, KY, according to the U.S. Census records.

M. Christiane Claybourne was the daughter of Mattie A. Williams Claybourne and Braxton D. Claybourne. She graduated from Georgetown's colored high school in 1927. She won a gold medal for her poetry.

In the 1940s she lived in Detroit, where she worked with the National Youth Administration and established day care centers in churches. Johnson attended nursing school and studied music before earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola University in 1948. She earned a master's degree in education from DePaul University in 1950.

Johnson was a member of the Nation of Islam and was principal and director of the University of Islam Primary School in Chicago. She traveled to Africa, Asia, and Europe. She also published plays and poems; her poem "Cadence" was published in Outlook Magazine. She was the author of Poems of Blackness and three children's textbooks: Muhammad's Children, ABC's of African History and Masks.

For more see "Christine C. Johnson" in For Malcolm, by D. Randall and M. G. Burroughs; and A. Beeler, "Longtime teacher Christine Johnson," Chicago Tribune, 3/22/1999, Metro Chicago section, p. 7.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Woodford County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Scott County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Versailles, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Georgetown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Powder House, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Johnson, Mary Christine Claybourne,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 31, 2023,

Last modified: 2020-11-16 17:56:40