James Weldon Johnson

(1871-1938 / Florida/United States)

James Weldon Johnson
Do you like this poet?
190 person liked.
44 person did not like.

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 »

Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.

Quotations

more quotations »
  • ''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).
  • Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring,
    ring with the harmonies of liberty.
    Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies;
    Let it resound loud as the rolling se...
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), African-American hymn-writer. Published in The Hymnal (1982). "Lift every voice and sing," l. 1-4, Edward B. Marks M...
  • You sang far better than you knew; the songs
    That for your listeners' hungry hearts sufficed
    Still live,—but more than this to you belongs:
    You sang a race from wood and ston...
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. O Black and Unknown Bards (l. 45-48). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Centu...
  • ''Whose starward eye
    Saw chariot "swing low"? And who was he
    That breathed that comforting, melodic sigh,
    "Nobody knows de trouble I see"?''
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. O Black and Unknown Bards (l. 13-16). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Centu...
  • ''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)...
Read more quotations »

Comments about James Weldon Johnson

more comments »
Click here to write your comments about James Weldon Johnson
  • 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!

  • 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.

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

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

Read all 3 comments »

Top Poets

PoemHunter.com Updates

[Hata Bildir]