James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) was born into a middle-class Bahamian family in Jacksonville, Florida, and educated at Atlanta University. He began his multifaceted career in Jacksonville as a public school principal, lawyer, and newspaper publisher. In 1901 he moved to New York to become the songwriting partner of his brother Rosamond (1873–1954). From 1906 to 1912, he served as U.S. Counsel of Venezuela and Nicaragua on the recommendation of Booker T. Washington, and in 1914 he became an editor of Washington’s New York Age. His association with the NAACP began in 1916 and lasted until 1931. As field secretary, Johnson organized new NAACP branches across the South. His hiring as secretary in 1920 signaled the rise of black leadership in the NAACP. Johnson resigned in 1931 to teach creative writing at Fisk University.