The Selected Writings of James Weldon Johnson: Volume I: New York Age Editorials (1914-1923)

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

EditorSondra Kathryn Wilson

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James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) would have been judged a successful man had he merely remained the principal of Stanton School in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Destiny led him, however, to become the first African-American to pass the Florida Bar exam, to win international acclaim as asongwriter, poet, novelist, diplomat, playwright, journalist, and champion of human rights. Since that time, though, his life and contributions have gone virtually unnoticed, except for his well-known song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Johnson's dual role as civil rights leader and literary artist was unprecedented and has not been replicated since. He used this duality in attempt to exonerate black Americans from the psychological and physical persecutions of "Jim Crow." These two volumes comprise of Johnson's literary work,song lyrics, and both his literary and political essays. A critical introduction places Johnson in relation to other black artists, the development of African-American literature, and early integrationist movements. By painting a vivid picture of the race problem in this nation, and by his portrayal of the successes and possibilities of his race, he pricked white America's conscience. This collection serves as witness to Johnson's pioneering a momentous standard for African-American literature while he laidthe groundwork for the early civil rights movement in America.

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James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) would have been judged a successful man had he merely remained the principal of Stanton School in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Destiny led him, however, to become the first African-American to pass the Florida Bar exam, to win international acclaim as asongwriter, poet, novelist, diplomat, playwri...

Sondra Kathryn Wilson is at Harvard University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.49 × 6.5 × 1.06 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195076443

ISBN - 13:9780195076448

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"The author's note tells readers that Wilson is preparing another volume of writings by Johnson from his NAACP years. There is no way of knowing what gems she will unearth, but what she has included in these first two volumes indicates Rhat it will be full of wisdom and analysis well worthpreserving. The work Wilson is doing can have the effect of bringing James Weldon Johnson's voice into the twenty-first century."--Magill's Literary Annual