Davis, John P.
- Zachery R. Williams
journalist, civil rights lawyer, and political organizer. John P. Davis was born in Washington, D.C., the son of William Henry Davis and Julia Davis. He grew up among Washington's New Negroes and was strongly drawn to the Harlem Renaissance. Davis served a brief stint as the editorial replacement of W. E. B. Du Bois with The Crisis magazine. Along with noted contemporaries such as Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Bennett, Wallace Thurman, Aaron Douglas, and Richard Bruce Nugent, Davis participated in the publication of Fire!!, a single-issue Harlem Renaissance literary magazine geared toward the emerging young Negro artist. Davis became a major spokesman for civil rights and interracial working-class alliances during the 1930s and 1940s.
From 1926 to 1927 Davis attended Harvard University on a fellowship and earned a master s degree in journalism He then went ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.