He continued to publish his own poetry as well. He demonstrated that black folk life could be the material of serious poetry. He also comments on the violence of racism in poems such as "Fragment," which portrays slavery as against both God's love and God's law. Following the flourishing of the Harlem Renaissance in the s, Johnson reissued his anthology of poetry by black writers, The Book of American Negro Poetry, in , including many new poets. This established the African-American poetic tradition for a much wider audience and also inspired younger poets.
In , he published a sociological study, Black Manhattan. By this time, tens of thousands of African Americans had left the South for northern and midwestern cities in the Great Migration , but the majority still lived in the South. There they were politically disenfranchised and subject to Jim Crow laws and white supremacy. Outside the South, many faced discrimination but had more political rights and chances for education and work. While attending Atlanta University, Johnson became known as an influential campus speaker.
I've Known Rivers. Praise Song for the Day. Allow yourself relaxation And when you do you will find new ideas. For in making others happy we will be happy, too. Beware the Dog. Gary Hensel.
He founded and edited the Daily American newspaper in At a time when southern legislatures were passing laws and constitutions that disenfranchised blacks and Jim Crow laws to impose racial segregation, the newspaper covered both political and racial topics. It was terminated a year later due to financial difficulty.
These early endeavors were the start of Johnson's long period of activism. In he accepted a position as the treasurer of the Colored Republican Club , started by Charles W. A year later he was elected as president of the club. He organized political rallies. In the early 20th century, it had supported Booker T. Washington 's position for racial advancement by industrious work within the racial community, against the arguments of W. Du Bois for development of a " talented tenth " and political activism to challenge white supremacy.
Johnson's writing for the Age displayed the political gift that soon made him famous. In this role, he built and revived local chapters. He organized a silent protest parade of more than 10, African Americans down New York City's Fifth Avenue on July 28, to protest the still-frequent lynchings of blacks in the South. Social tensions erupted after veterans returned from the First World War, and tried to find work.
In , Johnson coined the term " Red Summer " and organized peaceful protests against the white racial violence against blacks that broke out that year in numerous industrial cities of the North and Midwest. There was fierce competition for housing and jobs. Johnson traveled to Haiti to investigate conditions on the island, which had been occupied by U. Marines since , ostensibly because of political unrest. As a result of this trip, Johnson published a series of articles in The Nation in in which he described the American occupation as brutal.
He offered suggestions for the economic and social development of Haiti.
These articles were later collected and reprinted as a book under the title Self-Determining Haiti. In Johnson was chosen as the first black executive secretary of the NAACP, effectively the operating officer position. He lobbied for the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill of , which was passed easily by the House, but repeatedly defeated by the white Southern bloc in the Senate.
The Southern bloc was powerful because their state legislatures had effectively disenfranchised most African-American voters around the turn of the century, but the states had retained the full congressional apportionment related to their total populations. Southern Democratic congressmen, running unopposed, established seniority in Congress and controlled important committees.
Throughout the s, Johnson supported and promoted the Harlem Renaissance , trying to help young black authors to get published. Shortly before his death in , Johnson supported efforts by Ignatz Waghalter , a Polish-Jewish composer who had escaped the Nazis of Germany, to establish a classical orchestra of African-American musicians. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. James Weldon Johnson. Photographed by Carl Van Vechten , United States portal Biography portal Poetry portal Saints portal. New York: Norton. New York University. Archived from the original on April 21, The Book of American Negro Poetry.
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Although illness is usually discussed in terms of a patient's symptoms, deficit, or impairment, it is also about how people respond when faced with extreme circumstances and what they have to tell and teach us. We can go through amazing changes when we are faced with knowing we have limited time. After one woman got brain cancer she decided what she wanted was to go to Africa to see the gorillas.
She and her husband and the guides began the long trek through the jungle up the mountains, but the woman was having trouble. The guides tried to convince her to go back, but she wouldn't. She struggled and struggled. Eventually she won the guides over and everyone was rooting for her but there came a point when she couldn't go on, so she laid down on the grass and when she did, the gorillas came out of the jungle to her. If you didn't read this poem aloud, do so now. What is your experience of reading this poem?
How is it relevant to you? Do you identify with the woman or, perhaps, the husband or the guides or even the gorillas? Can you visualize the images, see the people trekking along, then lying down in the grass?
What sounds can you hear? What is the smell of the jungle? What physical sensations do you feel in your body as the poem unfolds? What happens to your breathing when you read the last lines? How did the transformation that happened at the end of the poem affect you? Did you have any associations to the poem about a situation in your own life? Whatever your experiences of reading this poem, they are examples of the ways that poetry works. In other words poetry has ways of working that get under our skin, which is to say it has ways to get in.
All of my professional life, I have used language embodied in voice as part of my medicine. Whether it was an attempt to talk someone through a traumatic experience or to help them understand the implications of their diagnosis or to aid them in finding the words to write their own stories and poetry, I have encouraged patients to speak and write their truths. At the same time, I have learned from them. One of the privileges of being clinicians is that we have a place in our patients' lives as they live through experiences that we may have yet to face ourselves.
It is becoming more and more common for people dealing with serious illnesses to write and publish their stories and poems as their own healing practice 3 — Many physicians and other health care providers have joined in writing their own personal experiences with illness, death and dying 12 — In my private practice of family psychiatry, I often ask whether my patients do any writing and for what purpose.
In my work with them, I support their writing and encourage its use whether it is through poetry, journals or personal letters. I encourage bringing the writing in as material for discussion, and I may make suggestions. For example, Writing in the third person gives distance to your voice, so try writing in the first person.
I also sometimes gives assignments. For example, write what you are having difficulty saying, or bring in a poem which is particularly meaningful to you. This can then become a springboard for discussion and exploration. I can't. I just can't. I can't do it all. I can't be all things to all people At all times and under all circumstances.