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The Essential Writings of James Weldon Johnson (Modern Library Classics)by James Weldon Johnson
Synopses & Reviews
“A canonical collection, splendidly and sensitively edited by Rudolph Byrd.”
-Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
One of the leading voices of the Harlem Resaissance and a crucial literary figure of his time, James Weldon Johnson was also an editor, songwriter, founding member and leader of the NAACP, and the first African American to hold a diplomatic post as consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua. This comprehensive volume of Johnsons works includes the seminal novel Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, poems from Gods Trombones, essays on cultural and political topics, selections from Johnsons autobiography, Along This Way, and two previously unpublished short plays: Do You Believe in Ghosts? and The Engineer. Featuring a chronology, bibliography, and a Foreword by acclaimed author Charles Johnson, this Modern Library edition showcases the tremendous range of James Weldon Johnsons writings and their considerable influence on American civic and cultural life.
“This collection of poetry, fiction, criticism, autobiography, political writing and two unpublished plays by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) spans 60 years of pure triumph over adversity. [….Johnsons] nobility, his inspiration shine forth from these pages, setting moral and artistic standards.” —Los Angeles Times
This unique one-volume collection contains writings by one of the 20th century's most gifted and effective African-American intellectual-activists. It includes two short never-before-published plays along with Johnson's complete novel "Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man" and much more.
About the Author
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)-novelist, poet, lawyer, editor, ethno-musicologist-was also the co-author (with his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson) of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” widely accepted as the “Negro National Anthem.”
Rudolph P. Byrd is professor of American studies and founding director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University. His books include Charles Johnsons Novels: Writing the American Palimpsest.
Charles Johnson is the National Book Award-winning author of Middle Passage and Dreamer.
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