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James Weldon Johnson Quotes / Quotations


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James Weldon Johnson QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
And so for a couple of years my life was divided between my music and my school books.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
As I look back now I can see that I was a perfect little aristocrat.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
As yet, the Negroes themselves do not fully appreciate these old slave songs.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
At times I can close my eyes and call up in a dreamlike way things that seem to have happened ages ago in some other world.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
From New York we went to a town in Connecticut, which became the home of my boyhood.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
I brought all my knowledge of classic music to bear and, in so doing, achieved some novelties which pleased and even astonished my listeners.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
I had enjoyed life in Paris, and, taking all things into consideration, enjoyed it wholesomely.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
I had no playmates, but amused myself with games - some of them my own invention - which could be played alone.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
I thought of Paris as a beauty spot on the face of the earth, and of London as a big freckle.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
I was born in a little town of Georgia a few years after the close of the Civil War.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives it most distinctive characteristics.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
Labor is the fabled magician's wand, the philosophers stone, and the cap of good fortune.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
My mother was kept very busy with her sewing; sometimes she would have another woman helping her.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
My school days ran along very pleasantly. I stood well in my studies, not always so well with regard to my behavior.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
She was my first love, and I loved her as only a boy loves.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
There are a great many colored people who are ashamed of the cake-walk, but I think they ought to be proud of it.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
This gives to every colored man, in proportion to his intellectuality, a sort of dual personality; there is one phase of him which is disclosed only in the freemasonry of his own race.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
Through my music teaching and my not absolutely irregular attendance at church, I became acquainted with the best class of colored people in Jacksonville.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
Washington shows the Negro not only at his best, but also at his worst.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
When I reached Atlanta, my steadily increasing disappointment was not lessened. I found it a big, dull, red town.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
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.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson
Young man, young man, your arm's too short to box with God.
Quotation of James Weldon Johnson