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Anna Johnson Julian

February 28, 2010

Anna Johnson Julian (1901-1994), who earned her B.A. (1923), A.M. (1925), and Ph.D. (1937) at Penn, was the first black woman to earn Phi Beta Kappa at Penn and be awarded Penn’s Ph.D. in Sociology.

Born in 1901, Anna Johnson attended the now-defunct West Philadelphia High School for Girls before matriculating into Penn’s School of Education. At Penn, she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Gamma Chapter. Later, she would serve as the fourth national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. from 1929-1931.

After earning an A.M. in Sociology in the Graduate School of Education, Johnson worked as a case worker in Washington, D.C. and as a teacher in New Jersey.

Her dissertation, which earned her a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1937, was a “study of the case records of one hundred allowance families under the care of the Family Service Association of Washington, D.C. during the period 1 January 1923 through 31 May 1931 was undertaken to determine the trends in relief and in case work treatment as administered by the city’s largest private relief-giving agency.”

Kaneesha Parsard
COL ’11

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