Cover image for James Weldon Johnson : "Lift every voice and sing"
James Weldon Johnson : "Lift every voice and sing"
McKissack, Pat, 1944-2017.
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Publication Information:
Chicago : Childrens Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
32 pages ; 26 cm.
Recounts the life of the author and civil rights leader who blazed a trail for racial equality and human rights through his songs, poems, speeches, and other writings.
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PS3519.O2625 Z78 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3519.O2625 Z78 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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Recounts the life of the author and civil rights leader who blazed a trail for racial equality and human rights through his songs, poems, speeches, and other writings.

Author Notes

Patricia C. McKissack was born in Smyrna, Tennessee on August 9, 1944. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Tennessee State University in 1964 and a master's degree in early childhood literature and media programming from Webster University in 1975. After college, she worked as a junior high school English teacher and a children's book editor at Concordia Publishing.

Since the 1980's, she and her husband Frederick L. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Their other works included Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, a Newbery Honor, nine Coretta Scott King Author and Honor awards, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. In 1998, they received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

She also writes fiction on her own. Her book included Flossie and the Fox, Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt, A Friendship for Today, and Let's Clap, Jump, Sing and Shout; Dance, Spin and Turn It Out! She won the Newberry Honor Book Award and the King Author Award for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural in 1993 and the Caldecott Medal for Mirandy and Brother Wind. She dead of cardio-respiratory arrest on April 7, 2017 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4. The McKissacks introduce James Weldon Johnson and the well-known song "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which he coauthored with his brother, Rosamond. As important as the surface facts of Johnson's life is the social context of that life; the authors explain the segregation policies and the violence used to intimidate blacks who stepped outside the bounds of acceptable behavior. This then becomes history as much as biography, especially when one considers the photographs reproduced here. They picture not only Johnson and his family, but also key events of his time. A slim and very accessible introduction. ~--Denise Wilms

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-- A biography that succeeds in highlighting the life of a talented individual whose legacy has been an inspiration to many, and makes Johnson come alive for young readers. Although ``Lift Every Voice and Sing'' is acknowledged as the African-American national anthem, less commonly known is that it was written in 1900 by Johnson, a principal in Florida, and his brother for a celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Johnson excelled in areas beyond song writing, as well. He was the first African American in Florida to pass the bar, the principal of the first black high school in Jacksonville, a consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua, and an executive secretary of the NAACP. The book's layout is appealing; black-and-white photographs, which enhance the text by depicting Johnson's era, and highlighted lyrics are attractively arranged. Although brief, this title captures the essence of a remarkable individual. --Jeanette Lambert, LaVega School, Waco, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.