Jun. 17, 2019

148TH Birthday James Weldon Johnson "The True Story Of Lift Every Voice"

Shortly afterward his brother, John Rosemond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson moved away from Jacksonville to New York, and the song passed out of our minds. However, not in the minds of those school children of Jacksonville. They kept on singing Lift E'vry Voice and Sing. During that time period,​ 95% of Black Americans lived south of the Mason Dixon Line. So the capture rate for the song's popularity was centered in the region Black Americans live. So they went off to other schools and sang it; they became teachers and taught it to other children. Within twenty years the song was being sung over the South and in some other parts of the country. Today the song, popularly known as the Negro National Hymn, is quite generally used. "The lines of this song repay me in an elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung by Negro children." James Weldon Johnson wrote this about his most famous creation. I'm sure that every time it is sung still today, Lift E'vry Voice and Sing lifts the eternal spirit of James and John, the original Johnson Brothers, who delivered greatness to our black communities with this song.​