James Weldon Johnson

(1871-1938 / Florida/United States)

James Weldon Johnson
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James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is remembered best for his leadership within the NAACP, as well as for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and collections of folklore. He was also one of the first African-American professors at New York University. Later in life he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University.

Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Helen Louise Dillet and James Johnson. His brother was the composer John Rosamond Johnson. Johnson was first ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character.''
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author, poet. Black Manhattan, ch. 11 (1930).
  • ''O black and unknown bards of long ago, How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?''
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author, poet. "O Black and Unknown Bards," st. 1 (written c. 1907), publ. In Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917)...
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  • Rookie - 233 Points Zoila T. Flores (3/15/2014 10:42:00 PM)

    The Creation is the most original and creative poem that reflects Mr.Johnson's most precious talent. I love it!

  • Rookie E Winger (5/21/2010 5:17:00 PM)

    I learned The Creation in high school in approximately 1966 - I have never forgotten it - back then, I had typed it out on a typewriter and it is still on my bookshelf. One of my most favorite poems ever.

  • Rookie Bill Vogt (10/31/2005 11:40:00 AM)

    James Weldon Johnson is one of the best poets in America's past.

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