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.
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James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)—novelist, poet, lawyer, editor, ethnomusicologist—was also the coauthor (with his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson) of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” widely accepted as the “Negro National Anthem.”