James Weldon Johnson Playground
E. 115 St. bet. 3 Ave. and Lexington Ave.
Directions via Google Maps
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was an African American intellectual of broad interests and accomplishments who was associated with the Harlem Renaissance. After graduating from Atlanta University in 1894, Johnson accepted the post of principal of the Stanton school in Jacksonville, Florida. The following year he founded the The Daily American, a newspaper dedicated to issues important to the black community. In 1897, he became the first African American to be accepted into the Florida Bar since Reconstruction. During these years, he also studied music and collaborated with his brother John Rosamond in the composition of several songs and operettas. In 1900, to commemorate Lincoln’s birthday, he wrote the poem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which was later adopted by the NAACP as the “Negro National Anthem.”
Learn about the trials and triumphs of the black experience in the United States and how New York City honors black history in our parks today.