June 17, 1871, Jack­son­ville, Flor­i­da. Birth name: James Will­iam John­son.

June 26, 1938, Wis­cas­set, Maine, dur­ing a heavy storm, when a train struck his car.

Green-Wood Ce­me­te­ry, Brook­lyn, New York.

James was the son of James John­son and Hel­en Lou­ise Dill­et, hus­band of Grace Nail, and bro­ther of com­pos­er John John­son.

He stu­died lit­er­a­ture at At­lan­ta Un­i­ver­si­ty (grad­u­at­ed 1894, MA 1904), and went on to be­come a song writ­er, an­tho­lo­gist, teach­er, and law­yer. He was the first Afr­ic­an-Am­er­i­can to pass the bar in the state of Flo­ri­da.

In 1906 he be­came the Am­er­i­can con­sul in Puer­to Ca­bel­lo, Ven­e­zue­la, and in 1909, con­sul in Co­rin­to, Ni­ca­ra­gua.

In 1920, he was ap­point­ed Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­ta­ry of the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Col­ored Peo­ple.

His works in­clude:

  1. Lift Ev­ery Voice and Sing