The Autobiography of an Ex-colored Man by James Weldon Johnson

I have little knowledge about the Harlem Renaissance and think this as good a book to dive into the time and topic as any.
On me it made a great impression and was very informative.
My Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/user/show/6315232

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  • I consider "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man" to be the greatest American novel. I discovered it while living in Vienna, Austria on the bookshelf of my Austrian girlfriend at the time. Apart from it's excellent writing, Weldon provides an excellent insight in the views of white Americans regarding Blacks. My favorite passage is how the narrator compares racial attitudes of Northern and Southern whites. I have asked a couple of white women from the South who have lived in the North about that. Both told me within the past 5 years that the comparison holds water today. Being a Black American who has lived in Europe for 20 years, I really enjoyed the insights on Europe shortly before the First World War. Another passage that resonated with me was his amazement of encountering Black French and German people who in language, mentality and behavior were the same as whites. "The Negro sure is adaptable," says the narrator. After reading the novel, I discovered that Johnson wrote "Lift Every Voice And Sing", which I consider to be the greatest American poem. As a child growing up in NYC in the 80s, the song which was composed by his brother was sung before the US National Anthem. Up until the 1980s "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was known as the Black National Anthem or the Black American National Anthem. We only sung the first stanza and chorus. James Weldon Johnson is both the most important but most overlooked and neglected author of American Letters. He became the Godfather of the Harlem Renaissance. Without "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man", it's unlikely that the Harlem Renaissance would have occurred and without him, his literary descendants including Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and James Baldwin would not have become writers, or at the very least, they wouldn't have written poems, stories and novels which awakened the conscience of the world. Thank you very much for reading the novel and for your short but concise review. It is very much appreciated. Cheers!

    DJKosmonautDJKosmonaut8 aylar önce
    • @1book1review Not a problem! It's my pleasure. It's such a rare gem. You have done a great service by reviewing it.

      DJKosmonautDJKosmonaut8 aylar önce
    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge about the book with me. I didn't know anything about the author tbh.

      1book1review1book1review8 aylar önce
  • Great! I haven't read that much African-American literature either. Think this is a good start!

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • I just found it for like $2 on the book depository!

    Crystal LaingCrystal Laing7 yıl önce
  • Sounds like a really good read. I haven't read any African literature but this one intrigues me!

    Crystal LaingCrystal Laing7 yıl önce
  • cool, I'll keep my eyes open for that then. Thanks!

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Ah, she's one of my favorites from the period. Passing is my favorite but I also liked Quicksand. Neither book is very long and they usually come together in the same book.

    macarmenadoreemacarmenadoree7 yıl önce
  • Too bad! I really like it.

    Brown Girl ReadingBrown Girl Reading7 yıl önce
  • I read a kindle version, that has this cover. Not sure you can get it in print.

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • No, which book would you recommend?

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Ah, well I think that's understandable. Teachers can have a big affect on how you react to the work. What got me interested in the Harlem Renaissance was actually a professor. She was so great and enthusiastic about the period and was very receptive to my own ideas and interpretations. Have you read any Nella Larson?

    macarmenadoreemacarmenadoree7 yıl önce
  • You're very welcome. I like the cover you showed. Does yours look like that? I might have to seek that one out to replace the one I've got.

    Brown Girl ReadingBrown Girl Reading7 yıl önce
  • It does affect your language, doesn't it? The class on Harlem Renaissance was taught by a teacher I really didn't get along with, so skipped it and now I regret being so petty back then :(

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Do, it's quick ;)

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Thanks for putting this in my world! Don't think I might have known about it otherwise :)

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Thanks! Let me know what you think of it, if you do!

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Oh cool, danke für die Info! Hab auch das ebook gelesen, aber ca 3€ dafür gezahlt, war auch günstig :)

    1book1review1book1review7 yıl önce
  • Bei amazon.de gibt es das Buch gerade als kostenlosen kindle download, für alle ebook-Leser. :-)

    Lenschael09Lenschael097 yıl önce
  • i have to read this book. great review

    J AbreuJ Abreu7 yıl önce
  • I'm glad you liked this book. I did too when too when I read it at university.

    Brown Girl ReadingBrown Girl Reading7 yıl önce
  • I love this book! I studied the Harlem Renaissance for a while, and this was definitely one of my favorites. Very well written; such an interesting character. It's so nice to see a review of a classic!!! Also, I got in the habit of using the outdated language too--not just when talking about the literature, but just in general because I was dedicating so much of my life to studying and was emmerssed in the culture of Harlem in the 20's. Yeah... that was awkward XD

    macarmenadoreemacarmenadoree7 yıl önce
The Autobiography of an Ex-colored Man by James Weldon Johnson