African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital Anthology

Fenton Johnson, Biographical Note in "Caroling Dusk" (1927)


"I CAME into the world May 7, 1888. No notice was taken of the event save in immediate circles. I presume the world was too busy or preoccupied to note it. It happened in Chicago. I went to school and also college. My scholastic record never attained me any notoriety.
Taught school one year and repented. Having scribbled since the age of nine, had some plays produced on the stage of the old Pekin Theatre, Chicago, at the time I was nineteen. When I was twenty-four my first volume A Little Dreaming was published. Since then Visions of the Dusk (1915) and Songs of the Soil (1916) represent my own collections of my work. Also published a volume of short stories Tales of Darkest America and a group of essays on American politics For the Highest Good.

Work in poetry appears in the following anthologies: The New Poetry (Monroe and Henderson), Victory (Braithwaite), Others (Kreymborg), The Chicago Anthology (Blanden), Anthology of Magazine Verse (Braithwaite), Poetry by American Negroes (White and Jackson), Negro Poets and their Poetry (Kerlin), Poets of America (Wood), Book of American Negro Poetry (J. W. Johnson), Today's Poetry (Crawford and O'Neil) and others. Edited two or three magazines and published one or two of them myself.

My complete autobiography I promise to the world when I am able to realize that I have done something."