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The peculiar fascination which the South held over
by James Weldon Johnson

The peculiar fascination which the South held over
my imagination and my limited capital decided me in
favor of Atlanta University;
so about the last of September I bade farewell to the
friends and scenes of my boyhood and boarded a train for the South.
- James Weldon Johnson

My appearance was always good and my ability to play on the piano,
especially ragtime, which was then at the height of its vogue,
made me a welcome guest.
- James Weldon Johnson

I believe it to be a fact that the colored people of
this country know and understand the white people better
than the white people know and understand them.
- James Weldon Johnson

My mother was kept very busy with her sewing;
sometimes she would have another woman helping her.
- James Weldon Johnson

 

Amsterdam was a great surprise to me.
I had always thought of Venice as the city of canals;
it had never entered my mind that I should find similar
conditions in a Dutch town.
- James Weldon Johnson

As yet, the Negroes themselves do not fully appreciate these old slave songs.
- James Weldon Johnson

As I look back now I can see that I was a perfect little aristocrat.
- James Weldon Johnson

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Northern white people love the Negro in a sort of abstract way,
as a race; through a sense of justice,
charity, and philanthropy, they will liberally assist in his elevation.
- James Weldon Johnson

Shortly after this I was made a member of the boys' choir,
it being found that I possessed a clear,
strong soprano voice.
I enjoyed the singing very much.
- James Weldon Johnson

Young man, young man, your arm's too short to box with God.
- James Weldon Johnson

Through my music teaching and my not absolutely irregular attendance at church,
I became acquainted with the best class of colored people in Jacksonville.
- James Weldon Johnson

But I must own that I also felt stirred by an unselfish
desire to voice all the joys and sorrows,
the hopes and ambitions, of the American Negro,
in classic musical form.
- James Weldon Johnson

Washington shows the Negro not only at his best,
but also at his worst.
- James Weldon Johnson

And so for a couple of years my life was divided between
my music and my school books.
- James Weldon Johnson

I had enjoyed life in Paris, and, taking all things into consideration,
enjoyed it wholesomely.
- James Weldon Johnson

It is from the blues that all that may be called American
music derives its most distinctive character.
- James Weldon Johnson

She was my first love, and I loved her as only a boy loves.
- James Weldon Johnson

I thought of Paris as a beauty spot on the face of the earth,
and of London as a big freckle.
- James Weldon Johnson

There are a great many colored people who are ashamed of the cake-walk,
but I think they ought to be proud of it.
- James Weldon Johnson

You are young, gifted, and Black.
We must begin to tell our young, There's a world waiting for you,
Yours is the quest that's just begun.
- James Weldon Johnson

Labor is the fabled magician's wand,
the philosophers stone,
and the cap of good fortune.
- James Weldon Johnson

The battle was first waged over the right of the Negro
to be classed as a human being with a soul;
later,
as to whether he had sufficient intellect to master
even the rudiments of learning;
and today it is being fought out over his social recognition.
- James Weldon Johnson

Any musical person who has never heard a Negro congregation
under the spell of religious fervor sing these old
songs has missed one of the most thrilling emotions
which the human heart may experience.
- James Weldon Johnson

Southern white people despise the Negro as a race,
and will do nothing to aid in his elevation as such;
but for certain individuals they have a strong affection,
and are helpful to them in many ways.
- James Weldon Johnson

I do not see how a people that can find in its conscience
any excuse whatever for slowly burning to death a human being,
or for tolerating such an act, can be entrusted with the salvation of a race.
- James Weldon Johnson

In Berlin I especially enjoyed the orchestral concerts,
and I attended a large number of them.
I formed the acquaintance of a good many musicians,
several of whom spoke of my playing in high terms.
- James Weldon Johnson

My luck at the gambling table was varied;
sometimes I was fifty to a hundred dollars ahead,
and at other times I had to borrow money from my fellow
workmen to settle my room rent and pay for my meals.
- James Weldon Johnson

The Southern whites are in many respects a great people.
Looked at from a certain point of view,
they are picturesque.
If one will put oneself in a romantic frame of mind,
one can admire their notions of chivalry and bravery and justice.
- James Weldon Johnson

It is a struggle; for though the black man fights passively,
he nevertheless fights; and his passive resistance
is more effective at present than active resistance could possibly be.
He bears the fury of the storm as does the willow tree.
- James Weldon Johnson

Americans are immensely popular in Paris;
and this is not due solely to the fact that they spend lots of money there,
for they spend just as much or more in London,
and in the latter city they are merely tolerated because they do spend.
- James Weldon Johnson

When we arrived in London, my sadness at leaving Paris was turned into despair.
After my long stay in the French capital,
huge, ponderous, massive London seemed to me as ugly
a thing as man could contrive to make.
- James Weldon Johnson

The Universe is one great kindergarten for man.
Everything that exists has brought
with it its own peculiar lesson.
- Orison Swett Marden

Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of
understanding and misunderstanding.
- Diane Arbus

Love is a peculiar thing.
- Georg Buchner

Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around.
An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.
- Terence McKenna

Great ambition, the desire of real superiority,
of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man,
and speech is the great instrument of ambition.
- Adam Smith

The city has become a serious menace to our civilization...
It has a peculiar attraction for the immigrant.
- Josiah Strong

I remember playing football dressed in peculiar costumes
with some friends in France and laughing so hard we couldn't even stand up,
let alone kick the ball.
- Fred Frith

To this congress the poet speaks not of peculiar and personal things,
but of what in himself is most common,
most anonymous, most fundamental, most true of all men.
- Richard Wilbur

All sensitive people agree that there is a peculiar
emotion provoked by works of art.
- Clive Bell

I think there's something peculiar about me that I haven't died.
It doesn't make sense but I refuse to die.
- Judy Garland

All that is really necessary for survival of the fittest,
it seems, is an interest in life, good,
bad or peculiar.
- Grace Paley

Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness;
its peculiar magnitude permits no shading.
- John Updike

I thought it was something peculiar to me.
I thought I was abnormal.
- Louise Brown

It is peculiar to mankind to transcend mankind.
- Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

We Americans are a peculiar people.
We are for the underdog, no matter how much of a dog he is.
- Happy Chandler

C is peculiar in a lot of ways, but it,
like many other successful things, has a certain unity
of approach that stems from development in a small group.
- Dennis Ritchie

Every age develops its own peculiar forms of pathology,
which express in exaggerated form its underlying character structure.
- Christopher Lasch

As the existence of a corps of professors of mathematics is peculiar to our navy,
as well as an apparent, perhaps a real,
anomaly, some account of it may be of interest.
- Simon Newcomb

Ireland is a peculiar society in the sense that it
was a nineteenth century society up to about 1970 and
then it almost bypassed the twentieth century.
- John McGahern

Value is consequently the necessary theoretical starting
point whence we can elucidate the peculiar phenomenon
of prices resulting from capitalist competition.
- Rudolf Hiferding

On some peculiar pigmented cells found in two mosquitoes fed on malarial.
- Ronald Ross

In pure literature, the writers of the eighteenth century achieved,
indeed, many triumphs; but their great,
their peculiar, triumphs were in the domain of thought.
- Lytton Strachey

Don't name it, as they say, because instantly you offer
it to this peculiar authority.
- Robert Creeley

The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where
time and place and eternity somehow meet.
His problem is to find that location.
- Flannery O'Connor

It is a peculiar art form, but I think it's a necessary art form -
and I do believe it's a noble art form.
- Paul Conrad

The lawyer has not reached the height of his vocation
who does not find therein...
scope for a peculiar but genuine artistic function.
- Frederick Pollock

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition.
Whether it be true or not, I can say for one
that I have no other so great as that
of being truly esteemed of my fellow men,
by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.
- Abraham Lincoln

Haven't you felt a peculiar sort of worry about the
chair in your living room that no one sits in?
- Nicholson Baker

I was suffering from a peculiar and persistent sense
that I was being pursued,
and also the conviction that under the political order of the times,
our lives had no meaning.
- Naguib Mahfouz

If someone wrote it and it had a peculiar twist,
I've read it.
- Dean Koontz

I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds,
or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.
- John James Audubon

As the treaty made with the United States was the first
treaty entered into by your country with other countries,
therefore the President regards Japan with peculiar friendliness.
- Townsend Harris

For the metropolis presents the peculiar conditions
which are revealed to us as the opportunities and the
stimuli for the development of both these ways of allocating roles to men.
- Georg Simmel

The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble
body has a peculiar flavor,
like none other.
- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Benevolence alone will not make a teacher,
nor will learning alone do it.
The gift of teaching is a peculiar talent,
and implies a need and a craving in the teacher himself.
- John Jay Chapman

The addiction to sports, therefore, in a peculiar degree
marks an arrested development in man's moral nature.
- Thorstein Veblen

It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the
faults of others and to forget his own.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Gypsy was the name my brother gave a pet turtle he had.
I always thought it was so peculiar.
- Joel Hodgson

Painting seems like some kind of peculiar miracle that
I need to have again and again.
- Philip Guston

Unlike the majority of the writers of his age,
La Rochefoucauld was an aristocrat; and this fact gives
a peculiar tone to his work.
- Lytton Strachey


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