- For the federal prosecutor Tamarra Matthews Johnson (not the same individual), see Tamarra Johnson.
Johnson is the daughter of Samuel Elliott Harris and Dixie Gardner Harris, whose sister Minnie married business tycoon A. G. Gaston. Tamara completed her undergraduate studies at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and earned her law degree in 1977 at Howard University in Washington D.C. She practiced in the fields of litigation, criminal, employment and labor law in D. C., Michigan, California and Alabama for 22 years before being appointed city attorney by Kincaid in 1999.
In July 2009 the Birmingham City Council appointed Johnson to serve as a legal consultant to the council, reviewing contracts and proposed ordinances. Langford pledged not to sign her appointment letter, making it unclear whether she will be able to assume her appointed duties.
Johnson also served as chief assistant to Judge U. W. Clemon and applied unsuccessfully to become a U. S. Attorney for the Northern Judicial District of Alabama after the resignation of Alice Martin in 2009.
Johnson is also one of the founders of the Birmingham Chapter of The Girl Friends, Inc.
- Bryant, Joseph D. (July 23, 2009) "Birmingham City council hires former city attorney Tamara Johnson, but Mayor Langford says he'll block appointment." The Birmingham News
- Wright, Barnett (February 21, 2013) "Tamara Harris Johnson: Niece of A.G. Gaston, 'He would find that need and address that need'." The Birmingham News