Fenton Johnson


Biography of Fenton Johnson

Fenton Johnson (born May 7, 1888 Chicago - died September 17, 1958 Chicago) was an American poet, essayist, author of short stories, editor, and educator.

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The Banjo Player

There is music in me, the music of a peasant people.
I wander through the levee, picking my banjo and singing my songs of the cabin and the field. At
the Last Chance Saloon I am as welcome as the violets in March; there is always food and
drink for me there, and the dimes of those who love honest music. Behind the railroad tracks
the little children clap their hands and love me as they love Kris Kringle.
But I fear that I am a failure. Last night a woman called me a troubadour. Wha

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