James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida on June 17, 1871. He was the second of three children. Johnson was an American author, lawyer, and diplomat. He was educated at Atlanta and Columbia universities. In 1898 he became the first black lawyer admitted to the bar in Duval County, Florida. He practiced law in Florida until 1902. In that year Johnson moved to New York, and collaborated on the well-known song, ?Lift Every Voice and Sing.? Later Johnson served as U.S. consul in Venezuela from 1906 to 1909 and in Nicaragua from 1909 to 1912. This is the year that The Autobiography of an Ex- Coloured Man was published.
The Autobiography of an Ex- Coloured Man was Johnson?s best-known book. This novel examined race relations in the United States through its narrator who wrestles with the question of his racial identity. This is the story of a nameless protagonist who, because his physical appearance is not identifiably ?black? he is able to assume the identity of a white American and ?pass.? As I analyze Johnson?s work there are several critical concepts that apply to this particular piece of work. I would like to examine double consciousness, and passing.
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