Who is James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, civil rights activist. He was married to civil rights activist Grace Nail Johnson. James Weldon Johnson is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920, he was the first African American to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer, and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture.

He was appointed under Preside...
Read Full Biography


James Weldon Johnson Poems

  • You's Sweet To Yo' Mammy Jes De Same
    (Lullaby)


    Shet yo' eyes, ma little pickaninny, go to sleep...
  • Voluptas
    To chase a never-reached mirage
    Across the hot, white sand,
    And choke and die, while gazing on
    Its green and watered strand....
  • Venus In A Garden
    'Twas at early morning,
    The dawn was blushing in her purple bed,
    When in a sweet, embowered garden
    She, the fairest of the goddesses,...
  • Vashti
    I sometimes take you in my dreams to a far-off land I used to know,
    Back in the ages long ago; a land of palms and languid streams.

    A land, by night, of jeweled skies, by day, of shores that glistened bright,...
  • Tunk
    (A Lecture on Modern Education)


    Look heah, Tunk!-Now, ain't dis awful! T'ought I sont you off to school....
Read All Poems


Top 10 most used topics by James Weldon Johnson

Heart 22 Night 17 Love 16 I Love You 16 Light 15 Time 15 Life 14 Head 13 Sun 12 Face 12


James Weldon Johnson Quotes

Read All Quotes


Comments about James Weldon Johnson

  • Anikafreeindeed: julius rosenwald gave funds to james weldon johnson.
  • Beineckelibrary: national hymn: lift every voice and sing lyrics in james weldon johnson's notebook, 1900; from jwj & grace nail johnson papers
  • Lindasuepoetry: james weldon johnson’s "fifty years"
  • Beineckelibrary: beinecke windows showcase james weldon johnson memorial collection of african american arts and letters
  • Ny_1920: other papers had referred to him as "just jim," as james weldon johnson pointed out in a scathing editorial. read more:
Read All Comments

Write your comment about James Weldon Johnson


Poem of the day

William Blake Poem
The Human Abstract
 by William Blake

Pity would be no more,
If we did not make somebody Poor;
And Mercy no more could be.
If all were as happy as we;

And mutual fear brings peace;
Till the selfish loves increase.
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
...

Read complete poem

Popular Poets