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God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) [Paperback]

By James Weldon Johnson (Author)
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Item description for God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) by James Weldon Johnson...

This collection of poems attempts to recreate a vanishing part of Black American spiritual culture - the inspirational sermons of old-time Negro preachers. Using punctuation and line arrangements he captures the fervour of the congregation and underlines the importance of these sermons in the development of Black culture. James Wheldon Johnson is the author of "Along this Way" and "The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man".

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin Classics
Pages   80
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.74" Width: 5.18" Height: 0.25"
Weight:   0.24 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 1990
Publisher   Penguin Classics
ISBN  0140184031  
ISBN13  9780140184037  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Weldon Johnson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) is recognized alongside W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington as one of the most respected interpreters of the black experience. Composer J. Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) was an authority on Negro spirituals.

James Weldon Johnson was born in 1871 and died in 1938.

James Weldon Johnson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Dover Thrift Editions
  2. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  3. Penguin Classics
  4. Twentieth-Century Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > Johnson, James Weldon
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > African American
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > African American Studies

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Reviews - What do customers think about God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)?

The Hope of God's Trombones  Oct 26, 2007
God's Trombones is a beautiful expression of the themes of the Southern black experience and God's constant, personal presence in their lives. The themes he chose were expressed in sermons and in Gospel music. For the black person, God was aware of their struggles, would bring them out of "Egypt" (slavery) and would eventually take them to their home "over Jordan". Death would be a gentle freedom for those who were weary (as in "Go down Death").

Johnson's introduction explains that he was trying to express the fervant Southern black preacher with his pauses and emphases. He has done both well.

This is a book to be read for its beauty and inspiration, but more important, it shows (theological inaccuracies aside) how an oppressed people trusted in God's gentle hand, and God's constant love for even the "least" of his Creation.

I recommend this for historians, teachers, lovers of poetry, and for its spiritual content, anyone seeking inspiration.
Just Wonderful  Jul 13, 2007
My dad teaches Sunday School and was looking for this book to incorporate into his lesson plans. I found it here at this site and fell in love with this book. Absolutely wonderful to read and very profound. Exceptional!
Historical Preservation - Community Backbone  Jun 10, 2007
The title says it all: "Trombones" represents the preservation of the history of the community backbone of prayer, persistence, and strength. The poetry gives some insight to the suffering of the elders, and speaks to the continuing fight for the full parity of the AfricanAmerican community in a country that was literally built upon the bleeding, sweaty backs of my ancestors.

this site is to be commended for participating in this historical preservation of a works that I would recommend as mandatory reading for generations to come - regardless of religion, gender, or color.

God's Trombones: Poems That Galvanize the Soul  Apr 25, 2007
My soul is galvanized everytime I hear or read James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones. I have directed student perfomances of this deeply moving African American text. "The Crucifixion," for example, tells the story of how Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior,my Friend, suffered death on an old cross so that I might have an opportunity to be more sensitive to the hurting. The "Prodigal Son" urges me to experience and, thus understand, that I must live with a redemptive consiousness. And, of course, I am compelled to understand, through the poem "Go Down Death" this reality: God does call His children home. Those who have suffered "long in the vineyard" are deserving of rest. For sure, God's Trombones is a poetic tribute to an experience that is Christian and African American. I thank James Welson Johnson for creating this poetic masterpiece. Let's continue to read it; let's perform it. Let's live within the context of the spirituality of the voice. Amen!
Unfamiliar Harmony  Mar 15, 2007
While James Weldon Johnson's theology is not always orthodox ("God thought and thought" - who could put a new thought in God's mind? unless it was God and, then, God would not be God - this insight compliments of E.V. Hill in his sermon "When Was God At His Best?"), JWJ's poetry and, especially, his Preface displays the harmonious beauty of a long tradition of African American preaching not generally known or appreciated outside of African American circles. If one really wants to become familiar with and, indeed, edified by the godly reaching of E.V. Hill (now deceased), Fred Luter, Tony Evans, Robert Smith and a host of unknowns who preach with substance and, sometimes, in the "whoop"ing style, then, Weldon's book is a must read. May Christianity never lose what God has brought forth in a substantial style which stirs heart, mind and soul.

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