James Weldon Johnsonwas born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1871. Among the first to break through the barriers segregating his race, he was educated at Atlanta University and at Columbia and was the first black admitted to the Florida bar. He was also, for a time, a songwriter in New York, American consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua, executive secretary of the NAACP, and professor of creative literature at Fisk Universityexperiences recorded in his autobiography,Along This Way. Other books by him includeSaint Peter Relates an Incident,Black Manhattan, andGod's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse.In addition to his own writing, Johnson was the editor of pioneering anthologies of black American poetry and spirituals. He died in 1938.