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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, May 10, 1995
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With a rare blend of pride and humility, Johnson recounts how he, among other accomplishments, became Florida's first black lawyer in 1898, a diplomat in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and lyricist for his brother Rosamond Johnson's famous song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Johnson's commentary on his epochal novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, as well as writings on his works of poetry--The Creation, God's Trombones, and Fifty Years and Other Poems--is priceless. Equally important are the logical and even-tempered opinions on race that he wrote for The New York Age, which offered comprehensive critiques of Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Marcus Garvey, along with his analysis of the racial climate while serving as head of the NAACP. This remarkable man left a mark on the 20th century that goes beyond the boundary of race. --Eugene Holley Jr. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But, he is stunned when one day in school a teacher asks the white students to stand, and scolds him when he joins them. He confronts his fair skinned mother and she reveals that she is indeed black and his father is a white Southern gentleman. His father later comes to visit, and even buys him a piano, but the child is unable to approach and deal with him.
As a young man, the death of his mother & sale of their house leaves him with a small stake & he determines to attend college. Though qualified, he rules out Harvard for financial reasons & heads back down South to attend Atlanta University. However, his stake is stolen from his boarding house room before he can register & he ends up with a job in a cigar factory.
When the factory closes, he heads North again, this time to New York City and discovers Ragtime music and shooting craps, excelling at the one & nearing ruin in the other. A white gentleman who has heard him play enters into an exclusive agreement to have him play at parties & subsequently takes him along on a tour of Europe.
Inevitably, he is drawn back to America and to music. He tours the South collecting musical knowledge so that he will be able to compose a uniquely American and Black music. But his idyll is shattered when he sees a white lynch mob burn a black man.Read more ›
I had to read this piece for a class. Upon cracking the binding, I was not impressesd. But, as I got deeper into the story, I was captivated. This is the type of work that makes you look at your life and wonder how you would respond in the same situations (and how you had responded in the past). While Johnson didn't give you dramatic build up that writers of today give, he gave an opportuinty for individual soul exploration. I believe that was the point he was trying to make.
"Autobiography of An Ex-Coloured Man" was not the greatest work ever written, but is was one of the most thought-provoking and challenging.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read. Thought it was going to be by a South African colored person and wasn't going to be bothered reading it! I was pleasantly surprised. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Wendy Collinson
This book was great felt like I was in the story from it being so descriptivePublished 9 days ago by j.settles
Though I am drawn to this type of story the feeling I get throughout it and at the end is always the same. Why? Read morePublished 1 month ago by nhviewfinder
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. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Toni H
Not too interested in these types of books. Only read it as per my class requirement.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It's very dry reading, drawn out and hard to stay interested.Published 1 month ago by Richard Bennett
A fascinating if flawed novel about a young man deciding whether to be black or white in early 20th century America. Mr. Johnson is a natural storyteller. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alex Troy
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I had no idea how it would end but I found the ending satisfying. I really liked how I could read the pages and likewise see and be in each scene. Read morePublished 2 months ago by daryle brooks