Authors & Events
Feb 01, 1990
| ISBN 9780140184020
Feb 01, 1990
| ISBN 9781101640258
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Feb 01, 1990 | ISBN 9780140184020
Feb 01, 1990 | ISBN 9781101640258
Originally published in 1912, this novel was one of the first to present a frank picture of being black in AmericaMasked in the tradition of the literary confession practiced by such writers as St. Augustine and Rousseau, this “autobiography” purports to be a candid account of its narrator’s private views and feelings as well as an acknowledgement of the central secret of his life: that though he lives as a white man, he is, by heritage and experience, an African-American. Written by the first black executive secretary of the NAACP, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, in its depiction of turn-of-the-century New York, anticipates the social realism of the Harlem Renaissance writers. In its unprecedented analysis of the social causes of a black man’s denial of the best within himself, it is perhaps James Weldon Johnson’s greatest service to his race.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)—novelist, poet, lawyer, editor, ethnomusicologist—was also the coauthor (with his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson) of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” widely accepted as the “Negro National Anthem.”
IntroductionSuggestions for Further ReadingA Note on the TextPreface to the Original Edition of 1912
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN EX-COLORED MAN
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