James Weldon Johnson(redirected from Johnson, James Weldon)
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Johnson, James Weldon,1871–1938, American author, b. Jacksonville, Fla., educated at Atlanta Univ. (B.A., 1894) and at Columbia. Johnson was the first African American to be admitted to the Florida bar and later was American consul (1906–12), first in Venezuela and then in Nicaragua. In 1930 he became a professor at Fisk Univ., and in 1934 a visiting professor at New York Univ. He helped found and was secretary (1916–30) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. His novel Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man (1912), published anonymously, caused a great stir and was republished under his name in 1927. Among his other works are the words to Lift Every Voice and Sing (1900, repr. 1993), which has been called the African-American national anthem, God's Trombones (1927), African-American sermons in verse, and Black Manhattan (1930). He wrote songs with his brother, John Rosamond JohnsonJohnson, John Rosamond,
1873–1954, American composer and singer, b. Jacksonville, Fla. After a career in music halls and light opera in England and on the Continent, Johnson toured Europe and the United States giving programs of spirituals.
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See his autobiography, Along This Way (1933, repr. 1973); study by E. Levy (1973).
Johnson, James Weldon
Born June 17, 1871, in Jacksonville; died June 26, 1938, in Maine. American Negro writer, cultural historian, and public figure.
Johnson, a teacher, lawyer, and professor of literature at Fisk and New York universities, served as the United States consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua and was an organizer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is the author of songs and musical comedies (with his composer brother), the collection of verses Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917), the novel Autobiography of an Excoloured Man (1912), and books on the history of Negro culture (for example, Black Manhattan, 1930). Johnson also compiled anthologies of Negro poetry and folklore. In the 1920’s he came forth as a theoretician of the so-called Negro Renaissance, issuing an appeal to Negroes to create artistic works free of racial or national character.
WORKSThe Book of American Negro Poetry. New York, 1922.
The Book of American Negro Spirituals. New York, 1925.
Along This Way. New York, 1933.
Saint Peter Relates an Incident: Selected Poems. New York, 1935.