Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review #2: The Autobiography of an Ex-colored Man by James Weldon Johnson

Hey ya'll,
So when I read novels I have a tendency to pick up crime thrillers, mysteries, and sometimes romance stories. However, I enjoyed every minute of this novel though it was historical fiction. What really amazed me was how much I was able to connect with this character without him having a name. Johnson never put a name on the main character and I found it odd yet, enticing all at once because the mystery behind this bi-racial man had made me want to read on to see if (Spoiler) they would ever reveal his identity which they did not.

Johnson really personalized black victimization by telling this very detailed story of a mixed man who looked more like the typical white male and therefore was perceived as being fully white. It was very introspective in the sense that Johnson made you wonder how could anyone be cruel to someone else without even knowing them.

I felt Johnson really pushed that in the lynching scene towards the end where he told how hard it was for the main character who is perceived as only a white man to just stand there and watch a black man be lynched for no reason. This was both moving and heartbreaking for me because I felt it allowed for the readers to put themselves in the main characters shoes and wonder what they would truly due in an instance like this.

Johnson created a brilliantly written story about issues, biases, and dangers that blacks have faced for many years, but through the eyes of a perceived white man which I thought was incredible. This is a story I would most definitely read again and to those of you who want something that gives you history, adventure, and hope then I would recommend you read this novel as well. It was not a disappointment!

RATING: *****