Did you know that James Weldon Johnson, author, lawyer, educator and poet who wrote “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” is from Jacksonville? Amongst his many talents and accolades, James Weldon Johnson made a lot of contributions to his birth home. Not only did he play an intricate role in establishing Stanton High School, the first public black school in town, but he also served as the principal. The first time his poem Lift Ev’ry voice and Sing was performed as a song was at Stanton High School in 1900. It has since been coined as the “Black National Anthem”. In honor of James Weldon Johnson’s contributions to the city of Jacksonville, a school has been named after him, there is a memorial at his birthplace in LaVilla, and there is a park downtown that has recently been named after him as well. The James Weldon Johnson Park is the oldest park in the city and from Monday-Friday there, you can find food trucks, a kid’s zone, and lush greenery. It is also the site for several performances like the annual festivals and the Art Walk, held the first Wednesday of each month.