After a Thousand Tears

Poems

Edited by Jimmy Worthy II

Foreword by Maureen Honey

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Introduction by Cedric Dover

Title Details

Pages: 168

Illustrations: 2 b&w images

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in

Formats

Hardcover

Pub Date: 03/01/2023

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6283-0

List Price: $32.95

After a Thousand Tears

Poems

Edited by Jimmy Worthy II

Foreword by Maureen Honey

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Introduction by Cedric Dover

A newly discovered collection of poetry from a renowned writer of the Harlem Renaissance

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  • Description
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Georgia Douglas Johnson (1877–1966) was the most prolific female writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Born as Georgia Blanche Douglas Camp in 1877 in Atlanta, Georgia, Johnson devoted much of her artistic imagination to indexing African American women’s interior life and advancing the means through which to achieve interracial cooperation. After a Thousand Tears represents the only extant poetry collection that Johnson authored between 1928 and 1962, and it illustrates her more nuanced and transgressive prescription for gender, racial, and national advancement.

Although scholars have critically examined Johnson’s four previously published collections of poetry (The Heart of a Woman [1918], Bronze [1922], An Autumn Love Cycle [1928], and Share My World [1962]), they have never engaged After a Thousand Tears. Jimmy Worthy II located the unpublished work while conducting archival research at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. Worthy discovered that while Johnson intended to publish Tears with Padma Publications of Bombay in 1947, the project never came to fruition. Published now, for the first time, this volume features eighty-one poems that offer Johnson’s intimate and forthright sensibility toward African American women’s lived experiences during and following the Harlem Renaissance.

Jimmy Worthy II’s introduction to After a Thousand Tears provides readers with a new way to understand Georgia Douglas Johnson and her poetry. In this previously unpublished and recently recovered volume, Worthy identifies a poetic presence of what he terms 'discursive veiling' and thus explores how Johnson persistently navigated contemporary racial and gender restrictions to create an open space in which to express her free, individual self. Drawing on literary scholarship from the New Negro/Harlem Renaissance to the present, this valuable, insightful study reveals how Johnson’s poems both reflect and defy the era in which they were written while remaining a beacon for our own.

—Judith L. Stephens-Lorenz, editor of The Plays of Georgia Douglas Johnson: From the New Negro Renaissance to the Civil Rights Movement

About the Author/Editor

Jimmy Worthy II (Editor)
JIMMY WORTHY II is an assistant professor of English at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.