PROCLAMATION HONORING THE LIFE AND MEMORY OF JAMES WELDON JOHNSON

Publication Date: Thursday, December 31, 2020

James Weldon Johnson
He was not just an influential and notable novelist, poet, and songwriter, James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a lawyer, a United States consul in a foreign nation, and served an important role in combating racism through his position in the NAACP. In 1900, James and his brother, John, wrote the song "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," which would later become the official anthem of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His father was a headwaiter at a hotel and his mother was a teacher at the segregated Stanton School. Johnson grew up in a middle-class home, and his mother encouraged him to pursue an interest in reading and music. Johnson attended Stanton until he entered high school. He attended high school and college at Atlanta University. He received his bachelor’s in 1894.
Introduced by State Representative  Billy Mitchell (GA), this proclamation was adopted by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) at its 44th virtual Annual Legislative Conference held in December 2020.

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