James Weldon Johnson
Find the best quotes by James Weldon Johnson.
James Weldon Johnson
Through my music teaching and my not absolutely irregular attendance at church, I became acquainted with the best class of colored people in Jacksonville.
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…
Northern white people love the Negro in a sort of abstract way, as a race; through a sense of justice, charity, and philanthropy, they will…
I do not see how a people that can find in its conscience any excuse whatever for slowly burning to death a human being, or…
Shortly after this I was made a member of the boys’ choir, it being found that I possessed a clear, strong soprano voice. I enjoyed…
In Berlin I especially enjoyed the orchestral concerts, and I attended a large number of them. I formed the acquaintance of a good many musicians,…
But I must own that I also felt stirred by an unselfish desire to voice all the joys and sorrows, the hopes and ambitions, of…
Any musical person who has never heard a Negro congregation under the spell of religious fervor sing these old songs has missed one of the…
Americans are immensely popular in Paris; and this is not due solely to the fact that they spend lots of money there, for they spend…
Washington shows the Negro not only at his best, but also at his worst.
My mother was kept very busy with her sewing; sometimes she would have another woman helping her.
I thought of Paris as a beauty spot on the face of the earth, and of London as a big freckle.
It is a struggle; for though the black man fights passively, he nevertheless fights; and his passive resistance is more effective at present than active…
I believe it to be a fact that the colored people of this country know and understand the white people better than the white people…
There are a great many colored people who are ashamed of the cake-walk, but I think they ought to be proud of it.
And so for a couple of years my life was divided between my music and my school books.
The battle was first waged over the right of the Negro to be classed as a human being with a soul; later, as to whether…
When we arrived in London, my sadness at leaving Paris was turned into despair. After my long stay in the French capital, huge, ponderous, massive…
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character.
She was my first love, and I loved her as only a boy loves.
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