The Selected Writings of James Weldon Johnson: New York Age Editorials (1914-1923)

Overview


James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) would have been judged a successful man had he merely remained the principal of Stanton School in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Destiny led him, however, to become the first African-American to pass the Florida Bar exam, to win international acclaim as a songwriter, poet, novelist, diplomat, playwright, journalist, and champion of human rights. Since that time, though, his life and contributions have gone virtually unnoticed, except for his ...
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Overview


James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) would have been judged a successful man had he merely remained the principal of Stanton School in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Destiny led him, however, to become the first African-American to pass the Florida Bar exam, to win international acclaim as a songwriter, poet, novelist, diplomat, playwright, journalist, and champion of human rights. Since that time, though, his life and contributions have gone virtually unnoticed, except for his well-known song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Johnson's dual role as civil rights leader and literary artist was unprecedented and has not been replicated since. He used this duality in attempt to exonerate black Americans from the psychological and physical persecutions of "Jim Crow." These two volumes comprise of Johnson's literary work, song lyrics, and both his literary and political essays. A critical introduction places Johnson in relation to other black artists, the development of African-American literature, and early integrationist movements.

By painting a vivid picture of the race problem in this nation, and by his portrayal of the successes and possibilities of his race, he pricked white America's conscience. This collection serves as witness to Johnson's pioneering a momentous standard for African-American literature while he laid the groundwork for the early civil rights movement in America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Gathers the remarkable record of one of the most prolific, erudite, and eloquent African American writers of the 20th century....All collections."--Choice

"The author's note tells readers that Wilson is preparing another volume of writings by Johnson from his NAACP years. There is no way of knowing what gems she will unearth, but what she has included in these first two volumes indicates that it will be full of wisdom and analysis well worth preserving. The work Wilson is doing can have the effect of bringing James Weldon Johnson's voice into the twenty-first century."--Magill's Literary Annual

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195076448
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871-June 26, 1938): A Chronology xv
Introduction 3
1 New York Age Social Editorials
1. Race Prejudice and Discrimination 9
Henry Ford's New Role (February 4, 1915) 11
Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Clansman (March 4, 1915) 12
The Recent Ripper Case (March 25, 1915) 13
The New Era (April 1, 1915) 14
The Proof of Equality (April 8, 1915) 14
A Trap (May 6, 1915) 16
A Weak Argument (June 10, 1915) 17
Some Recent Publications (June 17, 1915) 17
Watching The White Man Play (December 30, 1915) 19
Nature and Some Sociologists (January 6, 1916) 21
Saluting the Flag (April 4, 1916) 23
Between the Devil and the Deep Sea (September 27, 1917) 25
Turn the Enemy's Flank! (April 19, 1917) 26
The Hour of Opportunity (October 18, 1917) 27
Colored Officers in the Army (October 18, 1917) 30
Pure Americans (November 8, 1917) 30
Experienced Men Wanted (November 8, 1917) 31
"Why Should a Negro Fight?" (June 29, 1918) 33
"Negro" with a Big "N." (August 17, 1918) 36
Army Qualifications (May 10, 1919) 38
The Absurdity of It (July 5, 1919) 39
The American Legion and the Negro (October 25, 1919) 39
Talking about Criminals (November 22, 1919) 40
Crushing Out Radicalism (November 29, 1919) 41
The Obvious Thing To Do (November 29, 1919) 43
Learning What Is in the Back of a Negro's Head (July 24, 1920) 44
A Thorn in the kkk's Side (April 9, 1921) 45
How Opinion Is Created (March 4, 1922) 46
An Exploded Tradition (March 4, 1922) 47
The Absurdity of American Prejudice (September 9, 1922) 48
Let Them Come (February 10, 1923) 49
A Forgotten Friend (February 10, 1923) 50
The New Exodus (March 3, 1923) 51
2. Lynching and Mob Violence 53
The Frank Case Again (October 29, 1914) 55
Lawlessness in the United States (November 12, 1914) 55
Anglo-Saxon Supremacy in Mississippi (December 3, 1914) 56
Reaping the Whirlwind (February 25, 1915) 58
A New Crime (April 22, 1915) 59
Concerns Not Even the Sheriff (August 5, 1915) 60
Not So in Mississippi (August 12, 1915) 60
A Sign of Hope (January 20, 1916) 61
Anarchy in Georgia (January 27, 1916) 62
Those Valiant Texans (June 1, 1916) 63
The Silent Parade (July 26, 1917) 64
An Army with Banners (August 3, 1917) 65
More Toll for Houston (February 9, 1918) 66
Methods To Abolish Lynching (August 24, 1918) 67
Teaching Negroes "a Lesson" (September 13, 1919) 70
Dealing with Mobs (October 11, 1919) 71
3. Women 73
The Letter from a Colored Wife and Mother (April 20, 1915) 75
Woman Suffrage (October 21, 1915) 75
The Suffrage Parade (October 28, 1915) 76
A Comparison (November 11, 1915) 77
The Colored Nurses (July 20, 1918) 79
Protesting Women and the War (September 21, 1918) 80
Smoking Women (February 20, 1920) 81
The Colored Woman Voter (September 18, 1920) 82
Beautiful Women (November 26, 1921) 84
Equality of Privileges for Women (September 2, 1922) 85
4. Economics and Employment 87
Dr. Washington's Practical Suggestion (November 19, 1914) 89
The Harlem Gold Mine (December 24, 1914) 90
Girl Waiters on Dining Cars (January 14, 1915) 92
The Business League (August 26, 1915) 93
More about Employment (September 30, 1915) 94
Where Is The Man? (June 7, 1917) 96
Cotton Is King (September 21, 1918) 98
A New Wrinkle in Civil Service Discrimination (May 10, 1919) 99
The Future Harlem (January 10, 1920) 100
A New Danger To Be Met (January 1, 1921) 101
Southern Political Economy Exploded (July 7, 1922) 102
5. Education 105
The Harlem Public Library (November 5, 1914) 107
What Is Your Brain-Power? (November 26, 1914) 108
Howard University Attacked (February 18, 1915) 110
The Apportionment Of Public School Funds in the South (March 11, 1915) 111
"Let Down Your Buckets" (April 29, 1915) 113
An Open Air Lecture Course (May 6, 1915) 114
The Importance of the Negro to the South (August 16, 1916) 115
The New President of Howard University (November 22, 1919) 116
The Proposed Department of Education (January 28, 1922) 117
Democracy at Harvard (June 24, 1922) 118
Exclusion in Our Universities (October 14, 1922) 119
6. Black Leadership 121
The Norfolk "Get Together" Conference (December 10, 1914) 123
Honorable Charles W. Anderson's Record (December 10, 1914) 124
The Passing of Jack Johnson (April 8, 1915) 125
Sam Lucas (January 20, 1916) 126
Dean Pickens (May 17, 1919) 127
Rabbit-Hearted Leaders (October 11, 1919) 128
"A Crime Against Nature" (September 24, 1921) 129
African Colonization Schemes (August 12, 1922) 130
The Apotheosis of the Ridiculous (August 19, 1922) 133
Marcus Garvey's Inferior Complex (September 2, 1922) 134
A Negro Benefactor (September 2, 1922) 135
Garvey (June 30, 1923) 136
7. Religion 137
Florida's New Christian Colony (November 5, 1914) 139
Catholic Gains (March 25, 1915) 139
Pagan Temples (April 13, 1915) 140
Billy Sunday Cleans Up Paterson (May 27, 1915) 141
What's the Matter with Church? (October 14, 1915) 141
Sin and Pleasure (June 1, 1916) 143
Responsibilities and Opportunities of the Colored Ministry (February 8, 1917) 145
The Power of the Negro Church (July 9, 1917) 146
The Interchurch World Movement (July 3, 1920) 147
8. The Black and White Press 149
Do You Read Negro Papers? (October 22, 1914) 151
The New York Times Solves a Puzzle (November 5, 1914) 152
Strong Words from the Globe (December 17, 1914) 153
Comment Here and There (January 7, 1915) 154
Perverted History (April 22, 1915) 156
Why White People Should Read Negro Papers (December 2, 1915) 158
Let Us Have the Truth (August 24, 1918) 159
The Stories of Negro Life in the Saturday Evening Post (April 5, 1919) 160
Reaping the Whirlwind (August 2, 1919) 162
Report of the Department of Justice on the Radical Negro Press (November 29, 1919) 164
Negro Publications in Danger (January 31, 1920) 165
The Graham Sedition Bill (February 7, 1920) 166
The Victory and the New York World (June 2, 1923) 167
9. "Negro Americans, What Now?" 169
Ruffianism in Harlem (April 29, 1915) 170
Cut Out the Comedy (May 3, 1917) 170
Following Up "The Negro and the Jew" (February 2, 1918) 171
The Imitative Negro (September 21, 1918) 172
2 New York Age Political Editorials
10. Politicians 177
The Candidate Who Squares Up to Requirements (October 15, 1914) 179
The Importance of Electing Whitman (October 29, 1914) 181
The Extinguishment of "Coal Blaze" (November 12, 1914) 181
President Wilson's "New Freedom" and the Negro (November 19, 1914) 182
The President's Message (December 17, 1914) 184
Bryan and His Million Men (December 17, 1914) 185
Ex-Attorney General Wickersham to Our Defense (December 17, 1914) 186
President Wilson's Transformation (January 14, 1915) 189
Governor Slaton on Lynching (January 29, 1915) 190
Washington and Lincoln (February 22, 1915) 190
22 Caliber Statesmen (February 22, 1915) 191
Florida Politics (June 15, 1916) 192
Hughes the Nominee (June 15, 1916) 193
Wake Up Colored Men! Wake Up! (November 2, 1916) 194
Our Double Loss (December 7, 1916) 195
Theodore Roosevelt Speaks (July 12, 1917) 196
Harding Starts Well (November 13, 1920) 197
Bryan on the Negro Question (March 31, 1923) 197
11. Domestic Politics 201
The Lost Sheep (November 19, 1914) 203
The Supreme Court Again Dodges (December 3, 1914) 204
Negro Exclusion Amendment Defeated (January 14, 1915) 205
"A Vigilance Committee" (July 15, 1915) 206
Hurtful Helpfulness (July 15, 1915) 207
Capital Punishment (August 5, 1915) 208
Early on the Job (December 23, 1915) 209
Why the Difference? (February 3, 1916) 210
Vote the Republican State Ticket (October 12, 1916) 213
Under the Dome of the Capitol (May 3, 1917) 214
The Japanese Question in California (July 12, 1919) 215
The IWW Body in Congress (August 30, 1919) 217
The "Jim Crow" Car in Congress (September 13, 1919) 219
The Faults in Our Courts of Law (November 15, 1919) 220
Report of the Justice Department on Sedition among Negroes (December 20, 1919) 221
Enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment (February 28, 1920) 223
A New Third Party (March 25, 1922) 224
The Supreme Court Reverses Itself (March 21, 1923) 225
Lloyd George on Prohibition (July 7, 1923) 226
12. International Politics 227
The After Results of the Great War (October 15, 1914) 229
The Administration's Mexican Policy (October 29, 1914) 229
Once More Haiti (October 29, 1914) 230
The Art of Living (April 29, 1915) 231
20th Century Civilization (May 13, 1915) 232
The U.S. and Germany (May 13, 1915) 233
The Diplomatic Muddle (February 24, 1916) 234
Russian Democracy and the Jews (March 22, 1917) 235
As Others See Us (April 26, 1917) 326
As Others See Us (August 23, 1919) 236
The Peace Treaty (July 5, 1919) 238
Failure of the Peace Treaty (November 29, 1919) 238
The Irish Question Again to the Front (December 27, 1919) 239
Disarmament (July 9, 1921) 240
The War-Making Power (July 9, 1921) 241
Bernard Shaw on the United States (August 27, 1921) 242
Gandhi a Prisoner (March 25, 1922) 243
Diplomatic Preparedness (April 22, 1922) 244
A Remarkable Little Book (February 10, 1923) 244
3 New York Age Literary Editorials
13. Literature and Poetry 249
Anthology of Magazine Verse and Other Books (January 7, 1915) 251
A Poetry Corner (January 7, 1915) 252
Shakespeare (April 20, 1915) 254
About Poetry and Poetry Makers (December 16, 1915) 256
Stranger than Fiction (December 23, 1915) 258
Inside Measurement (March 2, 1916) 260
The Negro in American Art (March 16, 1916) 261
Prejudice and Art (May 11, 1916) 263
Mock Culture (March 22, 1917) 263
A Real Achievement (May 31, 1917) 264
Superior Races (September 27, 1917) 265
When Is a Race Great? (March 11, 1918) 267
American Genius and It's Local (July 20, 1918) 269
Some New Books of Poetry and Their Makers (September 7, 1918) 271
Resurgence of the Negro in Literature (April 22, 1922) 277
A Real Poet (May 20, 1922) 279
Negro Theatrical Invasion of Europe (May 19, 1923) 281
14. Music 283
"The Poor White Musician" (September 23, 1915) 284
American Music (January 13, 1916) 286
Writers of Words and Music (March 2, 1918) 288
Classic Music in New York (March 25, 1922) 290
Notes 293
Bibliography 297
Index 301
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