Fifty Years and Other Poems.

James Weldon Johnson's Classic Fifty Years and Other Poems; Inscribed by Him

Fifty Years and Other Poems.

JOHNSON, James Weldon.

$2,000.00

Item Number: 123468

Boston: The Cornhill Publishing Co., 1921.

Early printing of Johnson’s first collection of classic poems. Octavo, original half cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Mrs. Edward Lee McCatgin with the sincere regards of James Weldon Johnson.” With an introduction by Brander Matthews. In very good condition, with an inscription below “To August Meier with best regards Frederick B. Artz.” Artz was an author and professor at Oberlin College. Rare and desirable signed.

James Weldon Johnson was an American author whose work extended into politics, poetry, journalism, teaching, music and civil rights activism. He is most famous for his book "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man", which he published anonymously in 1912. Johnson's works deal with issues of race, particularly slavery, lynching, black rights and interracial relationships. His first collection of poetry, "Fifty Years and Other Poems", was published in 1913 to mark the fifty-year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The work was comprised of traditional and dialect poetry, and introduced arguments that would later be influential in the Civil Rights movement. The collection includes "Fifty Years," an homage to Abraham Lincoln, the protest poems "To America" and "Brothers," and a section entitled "Jingles and Croons" that touch on somewhat more temporal and humorous subjects, but continue to portray Johnson's serious, fervent beliefs.

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