Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Black ManPaper Rating: Word Count: 856 Approx Pages: 3
Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Black Man
In Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Black Man the author James Weldon Johnson tells the story of a black man passing as a white man. That is the major theme in this novel; "passing in the early 1900's in order to escape the horrors of racism towards the black race to succeed in white America.
The crisis throughout the novel centers on the ex-colored man discovering his identity, and this uncertainty is the central idea of the novel. From the book, "I finally made up my mind I would neither disclaim the black race nor claim the white race; but that I would change my name raise a moustache, and let the world take me for what it would; ¦ (Chapter 10). By saying this, the ex-colored man can live his life free of fear from the white man and lead a better life than a black would.
There are many causes that lead to his reasons for passing as a white man. Many influences give the idea onto the character, that in order to be successful in life you must be white. Since the ex-colored man was well educated unlike most, of the black culture it was easy for him to adapt to the whit culture. In the book the ex-colored man experiences the good and the bad of both