James Weldon Johnson | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of James Weldon Johnson.
This section contains 2,789 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen H. Bronz

SOURCE: "James Weldon Johnson," in Roots of Negro Racial Consciousness, The 1920's: Three Harlem Renaissance Authors, Libra Publishers, 1964, pp. 18-46.

In the following excerpt, Bronz examines the social importance of Johnson 's early poetry in Fifty Years, and Other Poems and comments on his later work as a precursor to the Harlem Renaissance.

His First Poems: History, Polemics, and Croons

[Johnson's] first poem to reach a large audience, "Lift Every Voice," has become known as the Negro National Anthem.14 Johnson wrote the anthem together with [his brother John] Rosamond in 1900, to be sung by Jacksonville school children on Lincoln's Birthday. The following snippets give a fair summary:

 Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;

…..

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, …
 Till we stand at last where the white gleam of our star is...

(read more)

This section contains 2,789 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen H. Bronz
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Critical Essay by Stephen H. Bronz from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.