The Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man

4.6 10
by James Weldon Johnson
     
 

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First published anonymously in 1912, this resolutely unsentimental novel gave many white readers their first glimpse of the double standard — and double consciousness — that ruled the lives of black people in modern America. Republished in 1927, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, with an introduction by Carl Van Vechten, The Autobiography of an

Overview

First published anonymously in 1912, this resolutely unsentimental novel gave many white readers their first glimpse of the double standard — and double consciousness — that ruled the lives of black people in modern America. Republished in 1927, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, with an introduction by Carl Van Vechten, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man became a groundbreaking document of Afro-American culture; the first first-person novel ever written by a black, it became an eloquent model for later novelists ranging from Zora Neale Hurston to Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.

Narrated by a man whose light skin enables him to "pass" for white, the novel describes a journey through the strata of black society at the turn of the century — from a cigar factory in Jacksonville to an elite gambling club in New York, from genteel aristocrats to the musicians who hammered out the rhythms of ragtime. The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man is a complex and moving examination of the question of race and an unsparing look at what it meant to forge an identity as a man in a culture that recognized nothing but color.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781407611082
Publisher:
HardPress Publishing
Publication date:
01/29/2010
Pages:
100
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.21(d)

Meet the Author


James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a prolific writer and legendary civil rights activist who produced several novels, a pioneering work of cultural history, the first major anthology of black poetry, and numerous treatises on race relations. He served as U.S. consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua and as secretary of the NAACP.

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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
James Weldon Johnson is one of the most important black people who is rarely ever discussed. Although this book was fiction and not autobiographical, it is a very good look into the life of a black man who could pass for white and how he dealt with both realities which ultimately leads him to choose one although in a somewhat conflicted fashion. It a great short read that leaves you desiring to explore more about the protagonist. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a glimpse into the black experience and the conflicting aspects of our existence in the great american landscape.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though the concept of this book may not seem overly exciting to some, it really is a great story. The continuous action in the book makes for a quick and painless read. Johnson¿s narrator illustrates the ¿race question¿ in a way that many people have failed to understand. In that sense, the ideas and themes portrayed in this book, though intended for an early 1900¿s audience, still apply to today¿s society (though not in the same way as they did in the past). Anyone with a passion for history, an interest in civil rights, or simply an interest in the African-American culture can appreciate the story, theme, and historical value of The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was well crafted, entertaining, and above all, educational. It taught me a great deal about the civil rights movement, but also provided a new outlook on life in general. I would highly recommend it to anyone--black, white, yellow, pink, or purple. This book is about human nature, therefore everyone can grow a great deal by studying it.
toniFMAMTC 8 months ago
This isn’t the usual historical biography from a black man. He’s able to pass as black or white and has a privileged upbringing. He has a unique perspective of just being a man during the times of segregation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think I would have liked James very much if we had met. He even admits that he was an arrogant person. He admits that he was such. He accomplished great thinhs only after being humbled a little. I'm not saying he didn't contribute to the world as we know it today. I'm just saying that I understand why people keep their private lives seperate from their business lives!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best Harlem Renaissance pieces of literature I have ever read. The mixture of narrative and social commentary on the race question gives the book depth and meaning beyond a simple story. The interesting title is backed up by an interesting novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man was an excellent read and quite thought provoking. I rarely find books that I'm willing to read twice but I would read this book over and over again. In my opinion Johnson's one of the best classic writer's of his time. He writes with a brillance, which was way ahead of his time. He protrays a message that outlines the answer for the race question for both Black & White. He's a great inspiration to enhance the dream searcher. Most of all he gave me hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GREAT PLOTLINE AND INTREGING TITLE THE FACT THAT U CAN PROVOKE YOUR SOCIAL STATUS IS A THOUGHT PROVOKING CONCEPT A DISOBEDIENCE TO YOUR "RACE" YET BY DOING SO U STAND UP FOR IT AND YOURSELF GIVING YOUR PEOPLE THE FREEDOM OF EQUALITY