Wilhelmina P. Johnson
Wilhelmina P. Johnson, a dynamic figure from Darlington, devoted her life to enhancing her community in various capacities. Trained as a home economics educator, she taught in the Darlington County School District for 28 years and worked for the Clemson University Extension Service for nearly a decade. Her dedication to education was recognized when she was named the South Carolina Consumer Education “Teacher of the Year.”
Beyond her role as an educator, Johnson served on the Darlington County Council for over two decades, including a period as its chairperson. She was also a member of the Darlington County Task Force for Progress, the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission and on the executive board of the South Carolina Black Arts Coalition.
One of her most notable achievements was founding the Darlington County Cultural Realism Center. This neighborhood-based recreation facility offered a wide range of programs for children, including performing arts, life skills, arts, crafts and African-American history. For over 30 years, Johnson’s center hosted an annual statewide Talented Teen competition, which included future Miss America Kimberly Aiken among its participants.
Johnson was featured as the “Hero of the Day” on a CBS Morning News segment, acknowledging her key role in the placement of numerous historical markers to commemorate African-American history in Darlington County. In 1998, she received a prestigious achievement award from the Governor’s Office Commission on Women, honoring her extensive community service.
Johnson held an undergraduate degree in home economics and a master’s degree in education, both from South Carolina State University. She was a mother to four children and served as a maternal figure and mentor to many others.