James Weldon Johnson

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing Park rendering
City of Jacksonville

The city of Jacksonville has released design plans for the Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing Park in the historic LaVilla neighborhood near Downtown.

Outside of City Hall, large building with steps leading to the entrance, a couple of palm trees out in the front
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Councilman Ron Salem wants to create a lengthier process to rename public parks and buildings, after the council two weeks ago struggled with changing the names of two parks. 

Pillar where the Hemming Park monument used to stand, including a fountain and path. Buildings and trees in the background.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Less than a week after the Jacksonville City Council voted to rename Hemming Park to James Weldon Johnson Park, Councilman Rory Diamond is filing a bill to institute a two-year moratorium on the future renaming of public parks, buildings, recreational facilities and public streets. 

Hemming Park pillar, with nothing at the top, buildings, sky and trees in the background.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Ahead of Tuesday’s Jacksonville City Council meeting, Councilman Garrett Dennis is filing five emergency bills to rename parks throughout the city to honor veterans. 

Pedestal in the middle of Hemming Park where a confederate mounment used to be on top, downtown buildings in the background, and the skyrail
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

A Jacksonville City Councilman is introducing a bill to change the name of Hemming Park. 

The Jaxson: James Weldon Johnson Deserves To Be Celebrated

Aug 8, 2018
The Jaxson

James Weldon Johnson is, without exaggeration, the single most accomplished person ever to come from Jacksonville or Florida.

Lindsey Kilbride

The side of the Man Cave Barbershop building on the corner of A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and Pippin Street is covered with a geometric design of vivid colors, with seven faces painted over it. It’s called the “Locals and Legends” mural and one of two new art pieces in the area.

Florida Memory/Lindsey Kilbride

North Florida Democratic Congressman Al Lawson wants Jacksonville to be nationally recognized as the birthplace of Civil Rights activist and songwriter James Weldon Johnson.

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with former State Senator Tony Hill about an event Friday to honor Jacksonville native and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. We also heard about the tragedy of babies being born to opioid addicted mothers and the treatments available, and University of North Florida assistant professor of physics Jack Hewitt told us about NASA’s announcement Wednesday. 


       

Florida Memory

Tuesday marks 115 years since a fire destroyed 146 blocks of Jacksonville. The inferno began at a LaVilla mattress factory on the corner of Beaver and Davis Streets.

The fire not only destroyed the city, but marked a turning point for one of the city’s African-American leaders, James Weldon Johnson.


ASCAP / James Weldon Johnson papers, Manuscript Archives, and Rare Book Library, Robert W. Woodruff, Emory University.

A park is being planned on a historic Jacksonville site with ties to the civil-rights movement.

The Durkeeville Historical Society and city of Jacksonville plan to dedicate the birth site of Jacksonville’s Johnson brothers as the “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” Park.

The park is named after the song written by John Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson in the late 1800s, which the NAACP calls the “Black National Anthem.”