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Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

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By: (1871-1938)

Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that delves into issues of race, identity, and privilege. The narrator, who is unnamed throughout the book, takes readers on a journey through his life as a mixed-race man passing as white in early 20th century America.

Through vivid and engaging storytelling, Johnson challenges readers to confront their own biases and prejudices, while also shedding light on the systemic oppression faced by people of color. The novel paints a complex picture of race relations during this time, showing both the harsh realities and the personal struggles of individuals caught in the middle.

Johnson's writing is both lyrical and poignant, drawing readers in with its emotional depth and honesty. The narrator's internal conflict and search for self-identity resonates with readers of all backgrounds, making this a timeless and relevant read.

Overall, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring themes of race, identity, and privilege in America. Johnson's novel is a powerful reminder of the complexities of racial identity and the importance of confronting our own biases.

Book Description:
Johnson's only novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, was originally published anonymously in 1912. It is a fictional novel written as a memoir of an unnamed biracial narrator who grew up in the South during the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras. It is a story in which the narrator relates how as a young boy he initially assumed that he was white, and how his notions of racial identity were suddenly turned upside down one day—how from that moment on he was inclined to view himself and the world about him from the perspective of blackness. The novel received very little notoriety until Johnson republished it in 1927, this time taking full credit as its author.

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