James Weldon Johnson: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (647 words)

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) is James Weldon Johnson's only novel. First published anonymously by a small Boston publisher, the book was acknowledged by Johnson when it was reissued by a major publisher in 1927, during the Harlem Renaissance. It influenced the form and content of later African American novels by authors ranging from Johnson's contemporaries to mid-century novelists such as James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison.

Based loosely on the experiences of a boyhood friend who had passed for white, The Autobiography, as first published, purported to be the anonymous autobiography of a man who was the illegitimate son of an African American mother and a white father. The nameless protagonist is …

Fleming, Robert E.. "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1546, accessed 10 December 2016.]