James Weldon Johnson Quotes

It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author, poet. Black Manhattan, ch. 11 (1930).
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Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty. Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies; Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), African-American hymn-writer. Published in The Hymnal (1982). "Lift every voice and sing," l. 1-4, Edward B. Marks Music Corporation (1921). Considered the "African-American National Anthem."
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You sang far better than you knew; the songs That for your listeners' hungry hearts sufficed Still live,—but more than this to you belongs: You sang a race from wood and stone to Christ.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. O Black and Unknown Bards (l. 45-48). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.
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Whose starward eye Saw chariot "swing low"? And who was he That breathed that comforting, melodic sigh, "Nobody knows de trouble I see"?
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. O Black and Unknown Bards (l. 13-16). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.
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O black and unknown bards of long ago, How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author, poet. "O Black and Unknown Bards," st. 1 (written c. 1907), publ. In Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917). Opening lines.
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And God stepped out on space, And He looked around and said, "I'm lonely— I'll make me a world."
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. The Creation (l. 1-4). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.
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So God stepped over to the edge of the world And He spat out the seven seas; He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed; He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled; And the waters above the earth came down, The cooling waters came down.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. The Creation (l. 36-41). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.
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This Great God, Like a mammy bending over her baby, Kneeled down in the dust Toiling over a lump of clay Till He shaped it in His own image;
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. The Creation (l. 84-88). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.
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The glory of the day was in her face, The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author. The Glory of the Day Was in Her Face (l. 1-2). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.
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