James Weldon Johnson

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James Weldon Johnson

Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Death: Died in Wiscasset, Maine
Cause of death: Accident - Train/Automobile
Place of Burial: Brooklyn, New York
Immediate Family:

Son of James Johnson and Helen Louise Johnson
Husband of Grace Nail Johnson
Brother of J. Rosamond Johnson

Managed by: Kenneth Kwame Welsh
Last Updated:

About James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson was one of the first African-American professors at New York University. He also accepted the Spence Chair of Creative Literature at Fisk University in Nashville. His famous works include 'Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing', which was adopted as the Negro National Anthem.

A multi-faceted personality, James Weldon Johnson grew up to be America's top author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter and early civil rights activist. He also played a prominent role in the Harlem Renaissance, during the 1920s. Extremely ingenious when it came to writing, Johnson is notable for his contribution in poetry, novels, short stories and folklore. His command over literature earned him the position of a professor at New York University and he became the first African-American to receive such an honor. He also took up the Spence Chair in creative literature and writing department, at Fisk University, in Nashville.

Childhood Son of Helen Louise Dillet and James Johnson, James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on 17th June 1871. Young Johnson received his preliminary education from his mother and later on, was sent to Edwin M. Stanton School. It was through his mom that he gained the love and knowledge of English literature and the European tradition in music. In the year 1887, Johnson enrolled himself at Atlanta University.

In the summer of 1891, four years after joining the university, Johnson visited the rural district in Georgia to teach the children of former slaves. Apart from earning his graduate degree from Atlanta University in 1894, Johnson also completed some graduate coursework. Inspired by the achievement of his father, Johnson's self-confidence led him to pursue a professional career. He regarded his education at the Atlanta University as an added bonus, which would help him dedicate his resources towards black people. (Famous People).


James Weldon Johnson - NNDB

James Weldon Johnson's Life and Career

Guide to the James Weldon Johnson and Grace Nail Johnson Papers

Famous People of Florida - James Weldon Johnson

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James Weldon Johnson's Timeline

June 17, 1871
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
February 3, 1910
Age 38
June 26, 1938
Age 67
Wiscasset, Maine
Brooklyn, New York