The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

by | Read by Alan Bomar Jones

Published by Tantor Media

James Weldon Johnson's emotionally gripping novel is a landmark in black literary history and, more than eighty years after its original anonymous publication, a classic of American fiction.

The first fictional memoir ever written by a black, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man influenced a generation of writers during the Harlem Renaissance and served as eloquent inspiration for Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Wright. In the 1920s and since, it has also given white readers a startling new perspective on their own culture, revealing to many the double standard of racial identity imposed on black Americans.

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AudioFile Review

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

This 1912 novel is a fictional autobiography of an unnamed biracial man, with lessons and observations that are still fresh today. Alan Bomar Jones performs in a smooth voice. He adopts cultured, barely inflected tones for the narrative and the protagonist's dialogue, while using strong Southern and New York accents for the dialogue of other African-Americans. Jones's uninflected Spanish, French, and German phrases contrast sharply with Johnson's descriptions of the protagonist's near-native fluency. Full of sophisticated vocabulary, thoughtful ruminations, and detailed observations, the autobiography is replete with long discussions of race and discrimination as the hero travels throughout the South, New York, Boston, and Europe. Author James Weldon Johnson was a Harlem Renaissance writer as well as an educator, musician, and lawyer. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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