Dr. Yohuru Williams with his book

Dr. Yohuru Williams Publishes Book About James Weldon Johnson

Dr. Yohuru Williams has co-authored an illustrated children’s book about civil rights activist and writer James Weldon Johnson.

Dr. Yohuru Williams holds his book Let Us March On
Dr. Yohuru Williams holds his book Let Us March On.

Let Us March On!: James Weldon Johnson and the Silent Protest Parade addresses how Johnson was instrumental in the first mass, all-Black march for civil rights in the U.S. when 10,000 Black protesters, including children, marched down New York’s Fifth Avenue in July 1917.

Williams is the distinguished university chair and professor of history and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He and co-author Michael G. Long have collaborated on other books about Black civil rights leaders, including one on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called More Than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and one on baseball legend Jackie Robinson titled Call Him Jack.

Their latest work, illustrated by Xia Gordon and published by Simon & Schuster imprint Atheneum Books for Young Readers, is available May 24 wherever books are sold. 

James Weldon Johnson wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” an uplifting and inspiring poem that became known as the Black national anthem. Johnson was also a leader of the NAACP.

From the book:

“Let us march,” James said, “in New York City.” A big protest on the biggest avenue in the biggest city in the country. “And,” he said, “let’s make it a silent march.” Because sometimes silence can be more powerful than screaming and shouting.

Let Us March On book page from Yohuru's book
An illustrated page from the book Let Us March On! by Dr. Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long.