Race Prejudice and the Negro Artist

Posted: September 6, 2012 in History, James Weldon Johnson, The Colour Line

Author: James Weldon Johnson

Source: Harper’s, November 1928. The Annals of America:  1928  •  Vol. 14

(reprinted from: http://www.nathanielturner.com/raceprejudiceandnegroartist.htm)

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“In the atmosphere of nativism and xenophobia that followed the war, it was perhaps not surprising that the American Negro continued to be victimized by the social, political, and economic exclusion that had increasingly been his lot since the end of Reconstruction.  The Negro was savagely persecuted in the 1920s and the prosperity of the period passed him by.  Nonetheless, Negroes, began to make their presence felt in the cultural life of the nation:  in literature, drama, and the concert stage.  James Weldon Johnson, poet, professor, and secretary from 1916 to 1930 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, argued, in an article that is reprinted here in part, that this renaissance had softened the prejudicethat many Americans felt toward Negroes.”

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