Tag Archives: James Weldon Johnson

“Guilt pins a fig-leaf; Innocence is its own adorning.” — poet Anne Spencer

Anne Bethel Scales Bannister Spencer was yet another poet-librarian, like Dudley Randall, and many others. It was part of a tradition, one worthy of more study (there are websites devoted to it!). As the daughter of a librarian, I am … Continue reading

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“If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.” — poet Claude McKay

“I am a black man, born in Jamaica, B.W.I., and have been living in America for the last years. It was the first time I had ever come face to face with such manifest, implacable hate of my race, and … Continue reading

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“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

“Nothing will do more to change that mental attitude and raise his status than a demonstration of intellectual parity by the Negro through the production of literature and art.” – James Weldon Johnson, preface to The Book of American Negro … Continue reading

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“If I am going to be a poet at all, I am going to be POET and not NEGRO POET.” — poet Countee Cullen

Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing! — Countee Cullen It’s his birthday today. Cullen is often compared to Langston Hughes (my post on Hughes here), seems a little unfair, … Continue reading

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