David Blight on James Weldon Johnson: Mondays at Beinecke, June 7, 2021

Beinecke Library at Yale– Jun 11, 2021

David W. Blight draws on his research in progress on the life and work of the African-American poet, novelist, songwriter, and diplomat, James Weldon Johnson.

Blight is Sterling Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He previously taught at North Central College in Illinois, at Harvard University, and at Amherst College. In October of 2018, Simon and Schuster published his new biography of Frederick Douglass, entitled, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. The book received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History, the 2019 Bancroft Prize for History, and the 2019 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, among other awards.

Blight is the author of Frederick Douglass’s Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989); Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001), which garnered eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Merle Curti Award, the Abraham Lincoln Prize and the Frederick Douglass Prize; A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation (2008), which won the Connecticut book award for best book in non-fiction; and American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era (2011), which won the Aniston-Wolf Prize in non-fiction for best book on race and racism. He has edited some six books, including editions of Frederick Douglass’s Narrative and My Bondage and My Freedom; W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk; and Robert Penn Warren’s Who Speaks for the Negro.

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