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American Poems: Books: Along This Way: The Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson (Penguin Classics)
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 Home » Books » Along This Way: The Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson (Penguin Classics)

Along This Way: The Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson (Penguin Classics)

  • List Price: $18.00
  • Buy New: $9.54
  • as of 9/22/2014 21:15 EDT details
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  • Seller:BRILANTI BOOKS
  • Sales Rank:1,810,485
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:448
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.6
  • Dimensions (in):7.2 x 5.7 x 0.8
  • Publication Date:January 29, 2008
  • ISBN:0143105175
  • EAN:9780143105176
  • ASIN:0143105175
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
The autobiography of the celebrated African American writer and civil rights activist

Published just four years before his death in 1938, James Weldon Johnson's autobiography is a fascinating portrait of an African American who broke the racial divide at a time when the Harlem Renaissance had not yet begun to usher in the civil rights movement. Not only an educator, lawyer, and diplomat, Johnson was also one of the most revered leaders of his time, going on to serve as the first black president of the NAACP (which had previously been run only by whites), as well as write the groundbreaking novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Beginning with his birth in Jacksonville, Florida, and detailing his education, his role in the Harlem Renaissance, and his later years as a professor and civil rights reformer, Along This Way is an inspiring classic of African American literature.

Amazon.com Review
With the possible exceptions of Dr. Alain Locke and W.E.B. Du Bois, no African American excelled on as many different levels as James Weldon Johnson. Along This Way--the first autobiography by a person of color to be reviewed in The New York Times--not only chronicles his life as an educator, lawyer, diplomat, newspaper editor, lyricist, poet, essayist, and political activist but also outlines the trials and triumphs of African Americans from post-Reconstruction to the rise and fall of the Harlem Renaissance. Born in Florida in 1871 to middle-class West Indian parents, Johnson recognized the challenges and absurdities of segregated America early on. But it was his experience as a tutor to rural blacks while a student at Atlanta University that was to alter the course of his life: "It was this period that marked the beginning of psychological change from boyhood to manhood," he writes. "It was this period that marked also the beginning of my knowledge of my own people as a race."

With a rare blend of pride and humility, Johnson recounts how he, among other accomplishments, became Florida's first black lawyer in 1898, a diplomat in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and lyricist for his brother Rosamond Johnson's famous song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Johnson's commentary on his epochal novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, as well as writings on his works of poetry--The Creation, God's Trombones, and Fifty Years and Other Poems--is priceless. Equally important are the logical and even-tempered opinions on race that he wrote for The New York Age, which offered comprehensive critiques of Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Marcus Garvey, along with his analysis of the racial climate while serving as head of the NAACP. This remarkable man left a mark on the 20th century that goes beyond the boundary of race. --Eugene Holley Jr.


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