Lift Every Voice and Sing

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9780606087995: Lift Every Voice and Sing
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An illustrated version of the song that has come to be considered the African American national anthem.

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About the Author:

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a prolific writer and legendary civil rights activist who produced several novels, a pioneering work of cultural history, the first major anthology of black poetry, and numerous treatises on race relations. He served as U.S. consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua and as secretary of the NAACP.

From Publishers Weekly:

From the title page, on which clouds part to show the face of a weeping black woman whose tears splash into the sea, Gilchrist's (Nathaniel Talking; Night on Neighborhood Street) colored pencil, gouache and watercolor art is as emotion-charged as the lyrics of what is widely considered the African American national anthem. African American children and adults in contemporary clothing are portrayed alongside Africans in traditional dress; they appear against dramatic, sometimes foreboding backgrounds featuring such dynamic forces of nature as a stormy sea, swirling wind and the glowing moon. Gilchrist imports political and religious images (white-sheeted figures burning a bleeding cross, children soaring into the heavens) to convey both the song's sadness ("Stony the road we trod,/ Bitter the chast'ning rod") as well as its ultimate hope ("Out from the gloomy past./ Till now we stand at last/ Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast"). The lyrics, written by African American statesman and educator Johnson (1871-1938), are reprinted together with the music scored by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, at the conclusion of this heady volume. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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