All Quotes, Harlem Renaissance, James Weldon Johnson

25+ James Weldon Johnson Quotes: Lift Every Voice and Sing

James Weldon Johnson was an American writer and civil rights activist. Johnson established his reputation as a writer and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novel, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture.

Johnson's first success as a writer was the poem "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" (1899), which his brother Rosamond later set to music; the song became unofficially known as the "Negro National Anthem." This is a collection of James Weldon Johnson Quotes on love, color, and song.

Lift every voice and sing. James Weldon Johnson
It’s no disgrace to be black, but it’s often very inconvenient. James Weldon Johnson
It is strange how in some things honest people can be dishonest without the slightest compunction. James Weldon Johnson
Music is a universal art; anybody's music belongs to everybody; you can't limit it to race or country. James Weldon Johnson
New York had impressed me as a place where there was lots of money and not much difficulty in getting it. James Weldon Johnson
Young man, your arm's too short to box with God! James Weldon Johnson
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. James Weldon Johnson
This country can have no more democracy than it accords and guarantees to the humblest and weakest citizen. James Weldon Johnson
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives it most distinctive characteristics. James Weldon Johnson
Labor is the fabled magician's wand, the philosophers stone, and the cap of good fortune. James Weldon Johnson
It is the spirit of the South to defend everything belonging to it. The North is too cosmopolitan and tolerant for such a spirit. James Weldon Johnson
I'm lonely I'll make me a world. James Weldon Johnson
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives it most distinctive characteristics. James Weldon Johnson
And so for a couple of years my life was divided between my music and my school books. James Weldon Johnson
As yet, the Negroes themselves do not fully appreciate these old slave songs. James Weldon Johnson
My mother was kept very busy with her sewing; sometimes she would have another woman helping her. James Weldon Johnson
When one has seen something of the world and human nature, one must conclude, after all, that between people in like stations of life there is very little difference the world over. James Weldon Johnson
The colored people of this country know and understand the white people better than the white people know and understand them. James Weldon Johnson
O Black and unknown bards of long ago, How came your lips to touch the sacred fire? James Weldon Johnson
There are a great many colored people who are ashamed of the cake-walk, but I think they ought to be proud of it. 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
Make yourself as happy as possible, and try to make those happy whose lives come in touch with yours. But to attempt to right the wrongs and cease the sufferings of the world in general is a waste of effort. James Weldon Johnson
Every race and every nation should be judged by the best it has been able to produce, not by the worst. James Weldon Johnson
The Southern whites are not yet living quite in the present age; many of their general ideas hark back to a former century, some of them to the Dark Ages. In the light of other days they are sometimes magnificent. Today they are often cruel and ludicrous. James Weldon Johnson
Do you know, I don’t object to anyone’s having prejudices so long as those prejudices don’t interfere with my personal liberty. James Weldon Johnson
My appearance was always good and my ability to play on the piano, especially ragtime, which was then at the height of its vogue, made me a welcome guest. James Weldon Johnson

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