James Weldon Johnson Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 72 James Weldon Johnson Quotes

#1. When one has seen something of the world and human nature, one must conclude, after all, that between people in like stations of life there is very little difference the world over. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #388
#2. It's no disgrace to be black, but it's often very inconvenient. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #64351
#3. And God stepped out on space, and He looked around and said: I'm lonely - I'll make me a world. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #86781
#4. A space was quickly cleared in the crowd, and a rope placed about his neck, when from somewhere came the suggestion, "Burn him!" It ran like an electric current. Have you ever witnessed the transformation of human beings into savage beasts? Nothing can be more terrible. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #145648
#5. I felt leap within me pride that I was colored; and I began to form wild dreams of bringing glory and honor to the Negro race. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #168081
#6. For days I could talk of nothing else with my mother except my ambitions to be a great man, a great colored man, to reflect credit on the race and gain fame for myself. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#7. It may be because Southerners are very much like Frenchmen in that they must talk; and not only must they talk, but they must express their opinions. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #244146
#8. But if the Negro is so distinctly inferior, it is a strange thing to me that it takes such tremendous effort on the part of the white man to make him realize it, and to keep him in the same place into which inferior men naturally fall. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #245188
#9. There were two immediate results of my forced loneliness: I began to find company in books, and greater pleasure in music. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#10. Any musical person who has never heard a Negro congregation under the spell of religious fervor sing these old songs has missed one of the most thrilling emotions which the human heart may experience. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#11. This country can have no more democracy than it accords and guarantees to the humblest and weakest citizen. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#12. I finally made up my mind that I would neither disclaim the black race nor claim the white race; but that I would change my name, raise a mustache, and let the world take me for what it would; that it was not necessary for me to go about with a label of inferiority pasted across my forehead. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #326691
#13. Labor is the fabled magician's wand, the philosophers stone, and the cap of good fortune. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#14. Young man, young man, your arm's too short to box with God. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#15. Music is a universal art; anybody's music belongs to everybody; you can't limit it to race or country. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#16. It is a struggle; for though the white man of the South may be too proud to admit it, he is, nevertheless, using in the contest his best energies; he is devoting to it the greater part of his thought and much of his endeavor. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #358454
#17. My appearance was always good and my ability to play on the piano, especially ragtime, which was then at the height of its vogue, made me a welcome guest. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#18. Southern white people despise the Negro as a race, and will do nothing to aid in his elevation as such; but for certain individuals they have a strong affection, and are helpful to them in many ways. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#19. New York had impressed me as a place where there was lots of money and not much difficulty in getting it. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#20. Make yourself as happy as possible, and try to make those happy whose lives come in touch with yours. But to attempt to right the wrongs and cease the sufferings of the world in general is a waste of effort. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#21. [R]acial supremacy is merely a matter of dates in history. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#22. Lift every voice and sing. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#23. Whose starboard eye
Saw chariot 'swing low'? - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #511520
#24. You are young, gifted, and Black. We must begin to tell our young, There's a world waiting for you, Yours is the quest that's just begun. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #530148
#25. It is the spirit of the South to defend everything belonging to it. The North is too cosmopolitan and tolerant for such a spirit. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #543074
#26. Listen!--- Listen!
All you sons of Pharaoh.
Who do you think can hold God's people
when the Lord God himself has said,
Let my people go? - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #616747
#27. Northern white people love the Negro in a sort of abstract way, as a race; through a sense of justice, charity, and philanthropy, they will liberally assist in his elevation. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#28. The peculiar fascination which the South held over my imagination and my limited capital decided me in favor of Atlanta University; so about the last of September I bade farewell to the friends and scenes of my boyhood and boarded a train for the South. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #655738
#29. Through my music teaching and my not absolutely irregular attendance at church, I became acquainted with the best class of colored people in Jacksonville. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#30. The Southern whites are in many respects a great people. Looked at from a certain point of view, they are picturesque. If one will put oneself in a romantic frame of mind, one can admire their notions of chivalry and bravery and justice. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #692619
#31. It is strange how in some things honest people can be dishonest without the slightest compunction. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#32. I'm lonely I'll make me a world. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#33. Lift every voice and sing Till earth and heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of Liberty. Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies; Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#34. Some men enjoy the constant strife Of days with work and worry rife, But that is not my dream of life: I think such men are crazy. For me, a life with worries few, A job of nothing much to do, Just pelf enough to see me through: I fear that I am lazy. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#35. With his head in his hands, God thought and thought, Till he thought: I'll make me a man! - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#36. I believe it to be a fact that the colored people of this country know and understand the white people better than the white people know and understand them. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#37. Evil is a force and, like the physical and chemical forces, we cannot annihilate it; we may only change its form. We light upon one evil and hit it with all the might of our civilization, but only succeed in scattering it into a dozen of other forms - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #786097
#38. This Great God, Like a mammy bending over her baby, Kneeled down in the dust Toiling over a lump of clay Till He shaped it in His own image. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #819876
#39. I had enjoyed life in Paris, and, taking all things into consideration, enjoyed it wholesomely. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#40. O black and unknown bards of long ago, How came your lips to touch the sacred fire? - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#41. So God stepped over to the edge of the world And He spat out the seven seas; He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed; He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled; And the waters above the earth came down, The cooling waters came down. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #876605
#42. I thought of Paris as a beauty spot on the face of the earth, and of London as a big freckle. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#43. She was my first love, and I loved her as only a boy loves. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#44. As I grew older, my love for reading grew stronger. I read with studious interest everything I could find relating to colored men who had gained prominence. My heroes had been King David, then Robert the Bruce; now Frederick Douglass was enshrined in the place of honor. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#45. My mother was kept very busy with her sewing; sometimes she would have another woman helping her. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#46. I do not see how a people that can find in its conscience any excuse whatever for slowly burning to death a human being, or for tolerating such an act, can be entrusted with the salvation of a race. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#47. Washington shows the Negro not only at his best, but also at his worst. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #995029
#48. When we arrived in London, my sadness at leaving Paris was turned into despair. After my long stay in the French capital, huge, ponderous, massive London seemed to me as ugly a thing as man could contrive to make. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1027264
#49. Americans are immensely popular in Paris; and this is not due solely to the fact that they spend lots of money there, for they spend just as much or more in London, and in the latter city they are merely tolerated because they do spend. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1044151
#50. And so for a couple of years my life was divided between my music and my school books. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#51. We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#52. My boy, you are by blood, by appearance, by education, and by tastes a white man. Now, why do you want to throw your life away amidst the poverty and ignorance, in the hopeless struggle, of the black people of the United States? - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1158984
#53. Paris practices its sins as lightly as it does its religion, while London practices both very seriously. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#54. Amsterdam was a great surprise to me. I had always thought of Venice as the city of canals; it had never entered my mind that I should find similar conditions in a Dutch town. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1173371
#55. A great wave of humiliation and shame swept over me. Shame that I belonged to a race that could be so dealt with; and shame for my country, that it, the great example of democracy to the world, should be the only civilized, if not the only state on earth, where a human being would be burned alive. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1177119
#56. In the life of everyone there is a limited number of experiences which are not written upon the memory, but stamped there with a die; and in the long years after, they can be called up in detail, and every emotion that was stirred by them can be lived through anew; these are the tragedies of life. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#57. It is a struggle; for though the black man fights passively, he nevertheless fights; and his passive resistance is more effective at present than active resistance could possibly be. He bears the fury of the storm as does the willow tree. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1338652
#58. At a very early age I began to thump on the piano alone, and it was not long before I was able to pick out a few tunes? I also learned the names of the notes in both clefs, but I preferred not be hampered by notes. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#59. In Berlin I especially enjoyed the orchestral concerts, and I attended a large number of them. I formed the acquaintance of a good many musicians, several of whom spoke of my playing in high terms. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#60. My luck at the gambling table was varied; sometimes I was fifty to a hundred dollars ahead, and at other times I had to borrow money from my fellow workmen to settle my room rent and pay for my meals. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#61. There are a great many colored people who are ashamed of the cake-walk, but I think they ought to be proud of it. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#62. Every race and every nation should be judged by the best it has been able to produce, not by the worst. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#63. It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#64. And Satan smiled, stretched out his hand, and said, O War, of all the scourges of humanity, I crown you chief. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#65. The battle was first waged over the right of the Negro to be classed as a human being with a soul; later, as to whether he had sufficient intellect to master even the rudiments of learning; and today it is being fought out over his social recognition. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#66. I lived to learn that in the world of sport all men win alike, but lose differently; - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#67. As I look back now I can see that I was a perfect little aristocrat. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#68. As yet, the Negroes themselves do not fully appreciate these old slave songs. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#69. In spite of the bans which musicians and music teachers have placed on it, the people still demand and enjoy Ragtime. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#70. Shortly after this I was made a member of the boys' choir, it being found that I possessed a clear, strong soprano voice. I enjoyed the singing very much. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
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#71. I have since learned that this ability to laugh heartily is, in part, the salvation of the American Negro; it does much to keep him from going the way of the Indian. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1862484
#72. But I must own that I also felt stirred by an unselfish desire to voice all the joys and sorrows, the hopes and ambitions, of the American Negro, in classic musical form. - Author: James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson Quotes #1877604

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