The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Introduction by William L. Andrews
Look inside
Paperback
$13.00 US
5.11"W x 7.68"H x 0.34"D  
On sale Feb 01, 1990 | 192 Pages | 978-0-14-018402-0
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB

Originally published in 1912, this novel was one of the first to present a frank picture of being black in America

Masked 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) was a novelist, poet, lawyer, editor,  ethnomusicologist, and coauthor of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is informally known as the Black national anthem. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he was educated at Atlanta University and at Columbia University and was the first Black lawyer admitted to the Florida bar. He was also, for a time, a songwriter in New York, American consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua, executive secretary of the NAACP, and professor of creative literature at Fisk University. His other books include an autobiography, Along This Way and God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse. View titles by James Weldon Johnson
Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
Preface to the Original Edition of 1912

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN EX-COLORED MAN

Explanatory Notes

About

Originally published in 1912, this novel was one of the first to present a frank picture of being black in America

Masked 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.

Author

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON (1871–1938) was a novelist, poet, lawyer, editor,  ethnomusicologist, and coauthor of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is informally known as the Black national anthem. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he was educated at Atlanta University and at Columbia University and was the first Black lawyer admitted to the Florida bar. He was also, for a time, a songwriter in New York, American consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua, executive secretary of the NAACP, and professor of creative literature at Fisk University. His other books include an autobiography, Along This Way and God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse. View titles by James Weldon Johnson

Table of Contents

Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
Preface to the Original Edition of 1912

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN EX-COLORED MAN

Explanatory Notes

Books for LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

In June we celebrate Pride Month, which honors the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan and highlights the accomplishments of those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual + (LGBTQIA+) community, while recognizing the ongoing struggles faced by many across the world who wish to live as their most authentic selves. Here is

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more