Photograph of the S.S. James W. Johnson, a liberty ship christened by Charlotta Bass, editor of the California Eagle. The ship was one of the first liberty ships named for an African-American. James Weldon Johnson, a writer and composer, was a member of the U.S. Government Consular Service in South America. Johnson later was the first Executive Secretary of the NAACP, leading a campaign to secure passage of an anti-lynching law. In her autobiography, Bass wrote that "selection by the California Shipbuilding Corporation of myself as the sponsor for the launching of this new Liberty Ship was indeed a signal honor to me, and was a tribute to the growing influence of the California Eagle. Some observers pointed out that it was the California Eagle during the period of my editorship which led the fight which secured employment of the first Negro workers in the Los Angeles shipyards."
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