Lift every voice and singTill earth and heaven ring,Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;Let our rejoicing riseHigh as the listening skies,Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,Facing the rising sun of our new day begunLet us march on till victory is won.Stony the road we trod,Bitter the chastening rod,Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;Yet with a steady beat,Have not our weary feetCome to the place for which our fathers sighed?We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,Out from the gloomy past,Till now we stand at lastWhere the white gleam of our bright star is cast.God of our weary years,God of our silent tears,Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light,Keep us forever in the path, we pray.Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;Shadowed beneath Thy hand,May we forever stand.True to our God,True to our native land…….Amen
Born on June 17, 1871, in Jacksonville, Florida, James Weldon Johnson was a civil rights activist, writer, composer, politician, educator and lawyer, as well as one of the leading figures in the creation and development of the Harlem Renaissance. After graduating from Atlanta University, Johnson worked as a principal in a grammar school, founded a newspaper, The Daily American, and became the first African American to pass the Florida Bar. His published works include The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) and God's Trombones (1927). Johnson died on June 26, 1938, in Wiscasset, Maine.Early Life and CareerJames Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 17, 1871, the son of a freeborn Virginian father and a Bahamian mother, and was raised without a sense of limitations amid a society focused on segregating African Americans. After graduating from Atlanta University, Johnson was hired as a principal in a grammar school. While serving in this position, in 1895, he founded The Daily American newspaper. In 1897, Johnson became the first African American to pass the bar exam in Florida.Not long after, in 1900, James and his brother, John, wrote the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which would later become the official anthem of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (The Johnson brothers would go on to write more than 200 songs for the Broadway musical stage.) Johnson then moved to New York and studied literature at Columbia University, where he met other African-American artists.NAACP Career and Published WorksIn 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed James Weldon Johnson to diplomatic positions in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Upon his return in 1914, Johnson became involved with the NAACP, and by 1920, was serving as chief executive of the organization. Also during this period, he became known as one of the leading figures in the creation and development of the African-American artistic community known as the Harlem Renaissance..
Lift Every Voice and SingBy James Weldon Johnson 1900