God's Trombones

  • by James Weldon Johnson
  • Narrated by Joe Morton, Robert Earl Jones, Calvin O. Butts
  • 1 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Johnson transformed memories of the sermons he heard in the late 1800s by renowned African American preachers into this now-classic work of original poetry. Basis for a PBS documentary on Johnson titled Lift Every Voice and Sing.


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Customer Reviews

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Amazing Experience

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This production of James Weldon Johnson's book of African-American sermons in verse filled me with joy. Johnson's scholarly introduction is here, as well as an opening prayer and a closing hymn. And in between! The seven glorious poems, each read by a different actor, are given all of the dignity and cadence due to them. The responses of the congregation are a treasure. I cannot think of a better example of American poetry than this book, and this recording just became my favorite way to experience it. I will come back to it again and again.

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- Laurel

Index of the poems

Because these poems honor the black preachers of Johnson's memory, it's invaluable to listen to them read by similarly skilled orators, especially if you are using them in the classroom.

Here is an index of the locations of the poems in this recording.

Preface: :40 – 15:30
Listen, Lord – A Prayer: 15:30 – 18:16
The Creation: 18:30 –23:57
The Prodigal Son: 24:19 –31:21
Go Down Death – A Funeral Sermon: 31:35 – 36:37
Noah Built the Ark: 36:55 – 45:25
The Crucifixion: 45:35 – 51:00
Let My People Go: 51:10 – 1:00:29
The Judgment Day: 1:00:40 – 1:06:30
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- Ruth Green

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-13-2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio