James Weldon Johnson

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Description: Carmen Fields reports that the US Postal Service will issue a postage stamp bearing James Weldon Johnson's image in honor of Black History Month. Johnson was a poet, lawyer, diplomat, composer, and former director of the NAACP. Johnson is the composer of "Lift Every Voice," which is known as the "black national anthem." The Madison Park High School Choir performing "Lift Every Voice. Interview with professor Samuel Allen of Boston University, who was a student of Johnson's. He talks about Johnson's life and his legacy. Allen reads two of Johnson's poems. Fields report is accompanied by photos of Johnson and a shot of the postage stamp bearing his image.
1:00:07: Visual: Footage of the Madison Park High School Glee Club singing "Lift Every Voice." Carmen Fields reports that "Lift Every Voice" is known as the "black national anthem"; that the words to the song were written by James Weldon Johnson; that Johnson was a poet, diplomat, educator and the first African American lawyer in the state of Florida. V: Shots of a black and white photo of Johnson; of the caption beneath the photo. Fields reports that Johnson fought for anti-lynching laws as the executive director of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); that Johnson also wrote lyrics for operas with his brother. Fields reports that Samuel Allen (professor, Boston University) was one of Johnson's students at Fisk University in the 1930s. V: Shot of a painting of Johnson. Footage of Allen being interviewed by Fields. Allen says that Johnson was "a Renaissance man." Allen notes that Johnson was an artist, writer, and diplomat. Allen reviews Johnson's accomplishments as US consul in Venezuela and in Nicaragua. Fields reports that Johnson is known for his poetry; that Johnson's poetry reflects the religious fervor in African American culture. V: Shot of a book of poetry held by Allen. Footage of Allen talking about and reading Johnson's poems, "The Creation" and "God's Trombones." Allen says that Johnson tried to immortalize the sermon of an African American preacher. Shot of a black and white photograph of Johnson. Fields reports that critics accused Johnson of hypocrisy for using religious themes in his poetry. V: Footage of Allen saying that Johnson was an agnostic. Shot of an image of Johnson on a US Stamp. Fields reports that "Lift Every Voice" was once seen as an unpatriotic and divisive song; that the song is now sung by school choirs and in churches. Fields notes that the US Postal Service will issue a stamp in honor of Johnson; that the stamp includes musical notation from "Lift Every Voice." V: Footage of the Madison Park High School Glee Club singing "Lift Every Voice." Shot of the US postal stamp featuring Johnson's image. Footage of Allen reading the lyrics of "Lift Every Voice."