"When the historian of the future seeks from among those who once lived a personality symbolizing the new Negro, he will find James Weldon Johnson made to order." ― Editor, Negro Labor News Service, 1938
Often remembered as a literary pioneer of the New Negro Era, Johnson’s roles as U.S. Consul to Venezuela (1906-1909) and Nicaragua (1909-1913) are frequently overlooked. Yet, Johnson’s official diplomacy informed later achievements as a popular artist, press critic, and political agitator on behalf of the NAACP. Attending to this neglected facet of his life and legacy, "Black Cosmopolitan" examines Johnson’s early life, his political appointment in the U.S. consular service, and the transnational dimensions of his advocacy for black freedom at home and abroad.
June 1971 Issue of The Crisis featuring James Weldon Johnson's Death Mask as the cover image.
June 1971 Issue of The Crisis featuring James Weldon Johnson's Death Mask as the cover image. Credit by Rose Library, Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection.