JAMES WELDON JOHNSON 1871-1938
James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1871. He grew up in a middle-class household. His mother was a school teacher, and his father headwaiter at a luxury hotel.
He was a versatile man of letters: a poet, a librettist and songwriter, novelist, historian, anthologist, and autobiographer.
JOHNSON is best known for his 1901 poem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," as set to music by J. Rosamond Johnson. It is often referred to as the "Black National Anthem,". His true maturity as a poet, however, was reached with "Fifty Years and Other Poems published in 1917.
A graduate of Atlanta University. Johnson began his distinguished and wide-ranging
professional life simply enough, as a Jacksonville school teacher. Simultaneously pursuing studies in the law, Johnson embarked on a law career after passing the Florida bar , then moved to New York City to write for Broadway.
JOHNSON died in 1938.