James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson

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James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American writer and civil rights activist. He was married to civil rights activist Grace Nail Johnson. Johnson was a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
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The Color Sergeant

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(On an Incident at the Battle of San Juan Hill)Under a burning tropic sun,
With comrades around him lying,
A trooper of the sable
Lay wounded, bleeding, dying
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Fragment

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The hand of Fate cannot be stayed, The course of Fate cannot be steered, By all the gods that man has made, Nor all the devils he has feared, Not by the prayers that might be prayed In all the temples he has reared
See
In your very midst...
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July In Georgy

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I'm back down in ole Georgy w'ere de sun is shinin' hot,
W'ere de cawn it is a-tasslin', gittin' ready fu' de pot;
W'ere de cott'n is a-openin' an' a-w'itenin' in de sun,
An' de ripenin' o' de sugah-cane is mighty nigh begun
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Dat Gal o Mine

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Skin as black an' jes as sof' as a velvet dress,
Teeth as white as ivory —well dey is I guess
Eyes dat's jes as big an' bright as de evenin' star;
An' dat hol' some sort o' light lublier by far
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The Awakening

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I dreamed that I was a
That grew beside a lonely way,
Close by a path none ever chose,
And there I lingered day by day
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O Black And Unknown Bards

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O black and unknown bards of long ago,
How came your lips to touch the sacred fire
How, in your darkness, did you come to
The power and beauty of the minstrel's lyre
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From The Spanish

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Twenty years go by on noiseless feet,    He returns, and once again they meet,    She exclaims, "Good heavens
and is that he
"    He mutters, "My God
and that is she
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An Explanation

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Look heah
'Splain to me de
Why you said to Squire Lee,
Der wuz twelve ole chicken
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Possum Song

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(A Warning)'Simmons ripenin' in de fall,
You better run,
Brudder 'Possum, run
Mockin' bird commence to call,
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The Word Of An Engineer

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"She's built of
From deck to keel,
And bolted strong and tight;
In scorn she'll
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Sence You Went Away

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Seems lak to me de stars don't shine so bright,
Seems lak to me de sun done loss his light,
Seems lak to me der's nothin' goin' right,
Sence you went away
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Fifty Years 1863-1913

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O brothers mine, to-day we
Where half a century sweeps our ken,
Since God, through Lincoln's ready hand,
Struck off our bonds and made us men
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Life

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Out of the infinite sea of
To climb, and for an instant
Upon an island speck of time
From the impassible peace of the
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O Southland!

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O Southland
O Southland
Have you not heard the call,
The trumpet blown, the word made
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From The Spanish Of Placido

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Enough of love
Let break its every hold
Ended my youthful folly
for I know      That, like the dazzling, glister-shedding snow,    Celia, thou art beautiful, but cold
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Mother Night

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Eternities before the first-born day,
Or ere the first sun fledged his wings of flame,
Calm Night, the everlasting and the same,
A brooding mother over chaos lay
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