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PHSC Celebrates its 50th Anniversary and Black History Month: James Weldon Johnson

Portrait of James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) wrote the poem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” to honor Abraham Lincoln's birthday and inspire his students' self-confidence. It later became known as the Negro National Anthem.

  • Born in Jacksonville, FL, which is also where he became a community leader as a teacher, principal, newspaper founder, and lawyer.​
  • Later Johnson moved to New York and became part of the artistic movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. ​
  • Career as a diplomat and community organizer, he was head of the NAACP during the 1920s. ​
  • Professor at Fisk University in Nashville until his death in 1938.


“James Weldon Johnson,” Poetry Foundation, 2022. Accessed Nov. 22, 2022.