Lift Every Voice and Sing

Selected Poems

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This selection of more than forty poems from a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance includes both uncompromising indictments of racial injustice and celebrations of the triumphs of African-Americans.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Lift Every Voice and SingPreface by Sondra Kathryn Wilson
Foreword

Saint Peter Relates an Incident of the Resurrection Day
O Black and Unknown Bards
Brothers - American Drama
O Southland!
We to America
Mother Night
The Young Warrior
The White Witch
My City
The Glory of the Day Was in Her Face
Life
The Black Mammy
Fragment
Mother, Farewell! (from the Spanish of Placido)
Girl of Fifteen
The Suicide

Down by the Carib Sea -
Sunrise in the Tropics
Los Cigarrillos
Teestay
The Lottery Girl
The Dancing Girl
Sunset in the Tropics

Deep in the Quiet Wood
Prayer at Sunrise
Her Eyes Twin Pools
Vashti
If I Were Paris
Ghosts of the Old Year
Beauty Never Old
Blessed Sleep
The Greatest of These Is War
A Poet to His Baby Son
Ma Lady's Lips Am Like de Honey
A Plantation Bacchanal
Tunk
Brer Rabbit, You's de Cutes' of 'Em All
Answer to Prayer
A Banjo Song
The Rivals
Sence You Went Away
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Envoy
A Note on Placido's "Mother, Farewell!"

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON (1871–1938) was a novelist, poet, lawyer, editor,  ethnomusicologist, and coauthor of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is informally known as the Black national anthem. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he was educated at Atlanta University and at Columbia University and was the first Black lawyer admitted to the Florida bar. He was also, for a time, a songwriter in New York, American consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua, executive secretary of the NAACP, and professor of creative literature at Fisk University. His other books include an autobiography, Along This Way and God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse. View titles by James Weldon Johnson

About

This selection of more than forty poems from a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance includes both uncompromising indictments of racial injustice and celebrations of the triumphs of African-Americans.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Lift Every Voice and SingPreface by Sondra Kathryn Wilson
Foreword

Saint Peter Relates an Incident of the Resurrection Day
O Black and Unknown Bards
Brothers - American Drama
O Southland!
We to America
Mother Night
The Young Warrior
The White Witch
My City
The Glory of the Day Was in Her Face
Life
The Black Mammy
Fragment
Mother, Farewell! (from the Spanish of Placido)
Girl of Fifteen
The Suicide

Down by the Carib Sea -
Sunrise in the Tropics
Los Cigarrillos
Teestay
The Lottery Girl
The Dancing Girl
Sunset in the Tropics

Deep in the Quiet Wood
Prayer at Sunrise
Her Eyes Twin Pools
Vashti
If I Were Paris
Ghosts of the Old Year
Beauty Never Old
Blessed Sleep
The Greatest of These Is War
A Poet to His Baby Son
Ma Lady's Lips Am Like de Honey
A Plantation Bacchanal
Tunk
Brer Rabbit, You's de Cutes' of 'Em All
Answer to Prayer
A Banjo Song
The Rivals
Sence You Went Away
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Envoy
A Note on Placido's "Mother, Farewell!"

Author

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON (1871–1938) was a novelist, poet, lawyer, editor,  ethnomusicologist, and coauthor of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is informally known as the Black national anthem. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he was educated at Atlanta University and at Columbia University and was the first Black lawyer admitted to the Florida bar. He was also, for a time, a songwriter in New York, American consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua, executive secretary of the NAACP, and professor of creative literature at Fisk University. His other books include an autobiography, Along This Way and God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse. View titles by James Weldon Johnson

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