James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was one of the United States’ best-known African American civil rights leaders, literary artists, and a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He was appointed U.S. Consul to Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt but resigned from foreign service in 1913 due to party politics and racism. The first African American to pass the Florida Bar exam, and author of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” he won international praise as a journalist, playwright, poet, diplomat, novelist, and songwriter.

Posts by James Weldon Johnson

Why Latin America Dislikes the United States

The deep-seated cause of this feeling of hostility does not spring from the actions of Americans who go to Latin-America but from the treatment accorded to Latin-Americans who come to the United States. In truth, the whole question is involved in our own national and local Negro problem.

Essay of the Month: “Writers of Words and Music”

For every custom there is some sort of a reason. Then if it is the custom generally to ignore or not to accord recognition to the writer of the words to a musical composition on what reason is the custom founded?