The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
While the title is deceiving, James Weldon Johnson claimsThe Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a novel. The first edition was published anonymously, and the sales of the book were lackluster. However, with the second edition, Johnson puts his name on the book, and the book becomes a great success. With this book, Johnson explores the questions and issues about passing for white in American society. The ex-colored man has a black mother, but his complexion is the same as an Italian. The book records the struggle of the narrator as to his identity. Basically, the ex-colored man must decide whether to help the black race to progress, or to settle for a mediocre life as a member of the white middle-class.