Book Reviews of The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man
The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man
Author: James Weldon Johnson
ISBN-13: 9780679727538
ISBN-10: 0679727531
Publication Date: 12/17/1989
Pages: 256
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 6

4.3 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
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3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was quite surprised by this book. It was a very interesting glance into the early 1900s. I found myself feeling bad for the man. Between two diametrically opposing worlds. Extremely interesting slice of life.
reviewed The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man on + 232 more book reviews
Very interesting. The insight of the author on the future of black Americans was sure admireable! He had an interesting life.
reviewed The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man on + 22 more book reviews
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.