How Did James Weldon Johnson Contribute To The Civil Rights Movement

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James Weldon Johnson was a civil rights activist, writer, diplomat, educator, songwriter, and many other things, but most importantly he was one of the leaders who aided in the development and creation of the Harlem Renaissance which is why he contributed to African American literary thought and activism.
Although Johnson had many titles and he was known as many things he has to start somewhere. After he graduated from Atlanta University he founded the newspaper, The Daily American, in 1895, where he gave information to the people of the black community on political and racial topics during a time when African Americans were oppressed. Though the newspaper only lasted a year before it fell victim to financial issues, it addressed issues such as racial injustice, and it spoke on the philosophies of Booker T. Washington. The shutting down of the newspaper only made Johnson want to help
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Some of James Weldon Johnson’s other published work includes Fifty Years and Other Poems which was published in 1917 and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man which was about a man who was light enough to pass as a white man and was published anonymously in 1912 and then again under Johnson’s name in 1927. Fifty Years and Other Poems, showed his political perspective of the African American influences that he portrayed throughout his writing and the poem “Fifty Years”, commemorated the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. He also published Black Manhattan, which was the first history of African Americans in New York City in 1930. Johnson has many other published works that described both how African Americans had to live and how they were trying to live during the Harlem Renaissance and the “new negro”
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