A Geographical Tour of Literary America

The Grand Tour of Literary Landmarks resulted from my students' success with another project that we called "Poetic License with THE AMAZING RACE." This new journey also begins and ends in my students' hometown. Chosen writers are specific to our curriculum and texts; however, teachers can adapt new selections to their students' needs. Side images are their original work. Photo images at each destination go directly to official sites or to the slideshows of my own travel photos. The main sources of written material here are www.Poets.org and Adventures in American Literature, Heritage Edition and Pegasus Edition.

Jacksonville, Florida

On the literary map, travel from Charleston, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida.


# _____________ Miles to Jacksonville, Florida

$ _____________ Cost for Gasoline to Jacksonville, Florida

Visit James Weldon Johnson at www.Poets.org and fill-in-the-blanks.

"James Weldon Johnson was born in _______ in Jacksonville, Florida. He was encouraged to study English literature and the European musical tradition. He attended Atlanta University with the intention that the education he received there would be used to ________________. After graduation, he took a job as __________________________________________."

"In 1900, he wrote the song 'Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing'" on the occasion of Lincoln's birthday; the song which became immensely popular in the black community and became known as the '_____________________________.' Johnson moved to New York in 1901 to collaborate with his brother Rosamond, a composer, and attained some success as a songwriter for Broadway, but decided to take a job as U.S. Consul to Venezuela in 1906. While employed by the diplomatic corps, Johnson had poems published in the Century Magazine and The Independent."

"In 1912, Johnson published The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man under a pseudonym, the story of a musician who rejects his black roots for a life of material comfort in the white world. The novel explores _______________________________________________, a common theme in the writing of the _________________________________."

"He had a talent for persuading people of differing ideological agendas to work together for a common goal, and in 1920 he became the national organizer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He edited The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), a major contribution to the history of African-American literature. His book of poetry ___________________(1927) was influenced by his impressions of the rural South, drawn from a trip he took to Georgia while a freshman in college. It was this trip that ignited his interest in the African-American folk tradition."

Read "The Creation" and "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing."