The biography of an ex colored man. Chapter 10 2022-11-16
The biography of an ex colored man Rating:
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a novel written anonymously by James Weldon Johnson and published in 1912. It tells the story of a young, mixed-race man who passes as white in order to escape the racial discrimination and segregation that he experiences as a black man in the United States.
The protagonist of the novel is a young man named Johnny, who is of African American and European ancestry. Johnny is raised in a middle-class black household in Florida, where he is educated and exposed to classical music and literature. Despite the advantages that he has, Johnny still experiences racism and discrimination because of the color of his skin.
As he grows older, Johnny becomes more aware of the limitations that his race imposes on him and decides to pass as white in order to escape these restrictions. He moves to New York City and begins a new life as a white man, where he is able to access opportunities that were previously unavailable to him as a black man.
Despite his success as a white man, Johnny is plagued by guilt and a sense of loss for the life he left behind. He struggles with his identity and his sense of belonging, and ultimately decides to return to his roots and embrace his black heritage.
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of race and identity in America. It is a poignant and poignant depiction of the struggles that people of color face in a society that often treats them unfairly and unfairly.
Biography of an Ex
The town was of that kind which hardly requires or deserves description; a straggling line of brick and wooden stores on one side of the railroad track and some cottages of various sizes on the other side constituted about the whole of it. It was obvious that the black students had already developed an idea and understanding of race and their own racial identity as a result of being in a class with mostly whites. The social phase of life among colored people, which I spoke of in an earlier chapter, is more developed in Washington than in any other city in the country. My heart turned bitter within me. Yet, when I was in Jacksonville I knew several prominent families there with large colored branches, which went by the same name and were known and acknowledged as blood relatives. As yet, the Negroes themselves do not fully appreciate these old slave songs. Unlike many, Hurston did not see race.
This is on account of the large number of individuals earning good salaries and having a reasonable amount of leisure time to be drawn from. We drove into the town just before dark. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. There was gathered there a crowd of men, all white, and others were steadily arriving, seemingly from all the surrounding country. The Ex-Colored man saw how the rich lived; he was thrilled to live in this lifestyle.
Its existence is rarely admitted and hardly ever mentioned; it may not be too strong a statement to say that the greater portion of the race is unconscious of its influence; yet this influence, though silent, is constant. The sentiments are easily accounted for; they are mostly taken from the Bible; but the melodies, where did they come from? The people come in great numbers, making the trip, according to their financial status, in buggies drawn by sleek, fleet-footed mules, in ox-teams, or on foot. In the same respect, the public is not too much to be blamed, for great comedians are far more scarce than mediocre tragedians; every amateur actor is a tragedian. A number of them have heroically spent their lives in this effort and just here I wish to say that when the colored people reach the monument building stage, they should not forget the men and women who went South after the war and founded schools for them. My stay in Washington, instead of being two or three days, was two or three weeks. You should visit Among the first of my fellow passengers of whom I took any particular notice, was a tall, broad-shouldered, almost gigantic, colored man.
This happened to be my first and only experience with racism until I came to college in 2014 because I enrolled in another school the following year. In the second-third of Black Like Me, John Griffin continued writing about his unusual and courageous expedition into the deep south where, with his darkened Negro-like skin, he experienced personally what it was like to be a Negro in the 1960s. Before we left the ship he had made me promise that I would stop two or three days in Washington before going on South. Not only does this situation demonstrate different levels of racial consciousness, it also provides an example of a common scenario in which a person of color struggles to assert his own identity and a white person feels he has the authority to define and categorize people of color Wise 2005. Nor is it any more a sacrifice of self respect that a black man should give to his children every advantage he can which complexion of the skin carries, than that the new or vulgar rich should purchase for their children the advantages which ancestry, aristocracy, and social position carry. Have you ever witnessed the transformation of human beings into savage beasts? It is really a social as well as a religious function.
It may be because Southerners are very much like Frenchmen in that they must talk; and not only must they talk, but they must express their opinions. Suddenly I became conscious of that sense of alarm which is always aroused by the sound of hurrying footsteps on the silence of the night. I asked him what were his main reasons for being so hopeful. There was none of that heavy-tongued enunciation which characterizes even the best educated colored people of the South. I sat often with the tears rolling down my cheeks and my heart melted within me. In this it is similar to the problem of the Solar System.
This spirit carries them so far at times as to make them sympathizers with members of their race who are perpetrators of crime. The narrator is a man, whose name is never mentioned throughout the story, who is employed in several occupations throughout his life. Shame that I belonged to a race that could be so dealt with; and shame for my country, that it, the great example of democracy to the world, should be the only civilized, if not the only state on earth, where a human being would be burned alive. These influences were external, a result of the societal pressures around him and the actions of others. And, by the way, how many educated colored men do you know personally? They caused me to reflect upon how great an influence their types have been in the development of the Negro in America.
He knew that to sanction Negro oppression would be to sanction Jewish oppression, and would expose him to a shot along that line from the old soldier, who stood firmly on the ground of equal rights and opportunity to all men; yet long traditions and business instincts told him, when in Rome to act as a Roman. The doctor was very kind in giving me letters to people in Richmond and Nashville when I told him that I intended to stop in both of these cities. His love for ragtime music and his conviction that the Ex-Colored Man not embrace his blackness to pursue a career as a definitively black composer could be used to argue that he experienced inner turmoil with his racial identity similar to that experienced by the Ex-Colored Man. That is why, probably seeking redemption, he goes back to his childhood dream of becoming a great man of colour. I suppose I should introduce myself; my name is Thelma Jean Mothershed-Wair, I am 17 years old and I was born on November 29, 1940, in Bloomberg, Texas.
So far as racial differences go, the United States puts a greater premium on color, or better, lack of color, than upon anything else in the world. Once or twice I was not so fortunate as to find divisions; everybody slept on pallets on the floor. The life of a slave was oppresing and just plain immoral in the way they were treated; slavery is not being a true American. I was as weak as a man who had lost blood. The young school teacher boarded at the best house in the place owned by a colored man. In fact, in 1901, he was once nearly lynched himself in Jacksonville, which no doubt influenced his decision to leave for New York.
That is to say, the burden of the question is not that the whites are struggling to save ten million despondent and moribund people from sinking into a hopeless slough of ignorance, poverty and barbarity in their very midst, but that they are unwilling to open certain doors of opportunity and to accord certain treatment to ten million aspiring, education~and~property-acquiring people. Night after night this man held me fascinated. In many instances, a slight exercise of the sense of humor would save much anxiety of soul. His wife, who was driving at the time of this accident, suffered serious injuries but survived, and ultimately outlived her husband by nearly four decades. John Brown was a jet black man of medium size, with a strikingly intelligent head and face, and a voice like an organ peal.
I could understand why Negroes are led to sympathize with even their worst criminals, and to protect them when possible. All the churches of some one denomination—of course, either Methodist or Baptist—in a county or, perhaps, in several adjoining counties, are closed, and the congregations unite at some centrally located church for a series of meetings lasting a week. I was in that frame of mind which, in the artistic temperament, amounts to inspiration. At this point in the story, it was unclear whether Griffin had completed his experiment. The professor turned very red and had very little more to say.