Thursday, July 20, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

James Weldon Johnson (1871 – 1938)


Leading American author, critic, journalist, poet, anthropologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, early civil rights activist, and prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
James Weldon Johnson
Father, Father Abraham,
To-day look on us from above;
On us, the offspring of thy faith,
The children of thy Christ-like love.
Johnson quotes
Whose starward eye
Saw chariot “swing low”? And who was he
That breathed that comforting, melodic sigh,
“Nobody knows de trouble I see”?
Johnson
Eternities before the first-born day,
Or ere the first sun fledged his wings of flame,
Calm Night, the everlasting and the same,
A brooding mother over chaos lay.




Johnson James Weldon quotes
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.
Johnson James Weldon
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 quotes
Every race and every nation should be judged by the best it has been able to produce, not by the worst.
James Weldon Johnson
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I'll make me a man!
Johnson James Weldon quotes
The colored people of this country know and understand the white people better than the white people know and understand them.
Johnson
I am a thing not new, I am as old
As human nature. I am that which lurks,
Ready to spring whenever a bar is loosed;
The ancient trait which fights incessantly
Against restraint, balks at the upward climb;
The weight forever seeking to obey
The law of downward pull;—and I am more:
The bitter fruit am I of planted seed;
The resultant, the inevitable end
Of evil forces and the powers of wrong.
Johnson James Weldon
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
And God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
"I'm lonely—
I'll make me a world."




James Weldon Johnson quotes
And Satan smiled, stretched out his hand, and said,—
"O War, of all the scourges of humanity, I crown you chief."
James Weldon Johnson
How would you have us, as we are?
Or sinking 'neath the load we bear?
Our eyes fixed forward on a star?
Or gazing empty at despair?
Johnson quotes
O black and unknown bards of long ago,
How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?
How, in your darkness, did you come to know
The power and beauty of the minstrels' lyre?
Johnson James Weldon
The glory of the day was in her face,
The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
And over all her loveliness, the grace
Of Morning blushing in the early skies.
Johnson James Weldon quotes
Young man—Young man—Your arm’s too short to box with God.
James Weldon Johnson
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered.
James Weldon Johnson quotes
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive characteristic.
James Weldon Johnson
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.
Johnson James Weldon
Some men enjoy the constant strife
Of days with work and worry rife,
But that is not my dream of life:
I think such men are crazy.
For me, a life with worries few,
A job of nothing much to do,
Just pelf enough to see me through:
I fear that I am lazy.


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