Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson

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Synopsis

From award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier, a stunning new picture book version of the well-known song that has become known as the African-American National Hymn.
 

About James Weldon Johnson

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James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a prominent author, lawyer, educator, diplomat, and early civil rights leader. He was also the author of The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, originally published anonymously. In 1900 he wrote the lyrics and his brother, Rosamond, composed the music for "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which is still widely sung today and has come to be known as the official African American National Anthem. Bryan Collier is the illustrator of rosa by Nikki Giovanni and Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, both Caldecott Honor Books, and the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Visiting Langston by Willie Perdomo. He also wrote and illustrated the Coretta Scott King Award-winning Uptown. Besides illustrating children's books, Bryan donates his time to painting murals in his Harlem, New York, neighborhood.
 
Published October 1, 2007 by HarperCollins. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lift Every Voice and Sing

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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Kirkus Reviews

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Two intentional unifying visual elements predominate: water (the slave ships of the Middle Passage, the symbolic drinking fountain of the Civil Rights era, a reflecting pool) and the often upraised, lustrous faces of black school children, sometimes profiled in the clouds.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Celebrating the centenary of the song frequently dubbed “The Negro National Anthem,” this matches those stirring lyrics to equally heartfelt black-and-white photos.

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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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Project MUSE

In fact, one of the more interesting claims of the book is between the lines, explicitly stated only in a footnote: years before Du Bois's "Criteria of Negro Art" and other writings in Crisis that dealt explicitly with representations of black life, Cole and the Johnsons were navigating these is...

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