The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Paperback

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Paperback

Part of the Dover Thrift Editions series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780486285122


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This is an amazing, very American story of an educated, fortunate boy, the son of a black woman and a white man, who comes to love listening to and playing music. His absent father loves him and his mother and provides much. Growing up in Connecticut, believing he is white; he is soon stunned to learn he is considered black by society. He discusses race with his mother and others. He is intelligent and well-read, and wishing to portray black Americans in a positive light, determines he will find some meaningful work after college. But his plans to attend Atlanta University fall apart after he is robbed; his life now takes a different turn. He finds various jobs, makes money and friends easily, gambles, winning and losing, drinks but never too much. He impresses a wealthy patron with his music, and travels through Europe with him. Maturity sets in as he realizes that this play life has kept him from his plans for serious work. Returning to the US he commits himself anew to his plan to gather information about race relations by traveling through the South and seeing how blacks live first hand. His reactions and commentary are honest, smart but surprisingly brutal. After seeing a horrendous, egregious event he is mortified by the state of the country, and gives up his life’s plans, changing to a totally different course. Good, strong read.