Summary Of The Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man

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James Weldon Johnson 's book, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, describes the journey throughout the early and midlife of a man who bore both Negro and white blood. He 's ethnicity wise African American but is able to "pass" in American Society as white due to his fair skin. This book examines the question of race and provides insight on what it really meant to fake an identity as a man in a culture that recognized nothing but color. In The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, the protagonist, who is also the narrator, is never named. In the beginning of the book he announces that he 's about to reveal "the great secret of [his] life" in hopes to analyze his motives for doing it and to also be relieved of this burden (pg. 1). He …show more content…

Although he learned of his true identity at an early age, it seems as though the narrator preferred to be white. This could have possibly been influenced by his upbringing during his early childhood and the mistreating of blacks as opposed to the higher regards for whites. He seems to accept a white, and sometimes often racist view of the world in general. This can be noted in ways such as when he states he never forgave the teacher that led him to understand he was black. Also, in his travels throughout the South, the way he observes his surroundings is often like those made through the eyes of a racist white man. He picks out the "unkempt appearance, the shambling, slouching gait, and loud talk and laughter” of the lower-class blacks that he meets (p. 40). He also admits that he never really enjoyed seeing a rich white widow have a black companion. Then, after partaking in a debate about race among several white passengers on a train, the narrator expresses his admiration for the most racist man that was involved in the discussion. It also seems as though he only had eyes for white women and he eventually married one and had children with her. Although he may have preferred to

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