Originally published anonymously in 1912, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man revealed as never before the color line dividing America, and the price it exacted on those souls who could traverse the two worlds. The book presents the fictional account of "an ex-colored man" - an African-American who could pass for white - as he attempts to choose which side of the line will better suit his life, and his psyche.
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.
"Index of the poems"
James Weldon Johnson's emotionally gripping novel is a landmark in black literary history and, more than eighty years after its original anonymous publication, a classic of American fiction. The first fictional memoir ever written by a black, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man influenced a generation of writers during the Harlem Renaissance and served as eloquent inspiration for Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Wright.
"Liked it very much"
The first fictional memoir ever written by an African-American, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man influenced a generation of writers during the Harlem Renaissance and served as eloquent inspiration for Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Wright. In the 1920s and since, it has also given white readers a startling new perspective on their own culture, revealing to many the double standard of racial identity imposed on black Americans. Told by a bi-racial man whose light skin allows him to "pass" for white, the novel describes a pilgrimage through America's color lines....