Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson

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Synopsis

Written by civil rights leader and poet James Weldon Johnson in 1899, "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" is sung in schools and churches throughout America. The popular, timeless song is recognized as a testimonial to the struggle and achievements of African-American people ­ past, present, and future.
 

About James Weldon Johnson

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Born in Jacksonville Fla. in 1871, James Weldon Johnson was one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. His career was varied and included periods as a teacher, lawyer, songwriter (with his brother J. Rosamond Johnson), and diplomat (as United States Consul to Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, from 1906 to 1909). Among his most famous writings are Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, published anonymously in 1912, and God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927), the winner of the Harmon Gold Award. He was also editor of several anthologies of African-American poetry and spirituals, and in 1933 his autobiography, Along This Way, was published. He served as Secretary to the NAACP from 1916 to 1930 and was a professor of literature at Fisk University in Nashville from 1930 until his death in 1938.
 
Published February 1, 1993 by Walker Childrens. 36 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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With an introduction by Jim Haskins explaining how ``Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing'' (spelling changed only on the title page and jacket here) came to be written and became the ``African- American Anthem,'' a handsome setting.

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Publishers Weekly

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Between the sober linocuts and the devotional text, this adaptation of what was once called the Negro National Anthem fairly effuses seriousness of purpose.

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Publishers Weekly

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In honor of this song's centennial anniversary, this volume collects 22 often stirring black-and-white archival photographs to illustrate Johnson's powerful lyrics, set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson.

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Publishers Weekly

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Gilchrist imports political and religious images (white-sheeted figures burning a bleeding cross, children soaring into the heavens) to convey both the song's sadness (""Stony the road we trod,/ Bitter the chast'ning rod'') as well as its ultimate hope (""Out from the gloomy past./ Till now we st...

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Publishers Weekly

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Gilchrist's colored pencil, gouache and watercolor art is as emotion-charged as the lyrics of what is widely considered the African-American national anthem," said PW.

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