The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Define the three types of white people found in Harlem. What are their roles and do they belong?

Auto biography of an ex colored man chapter 6

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The narrator then divides "colored" people into three categories. The first category is the "desperate class", which includes ex-convicts, drunks, and loafers. They are full of rage and hate white people, who in turn are afraid of them. While small in number, the narrator thinks these "desperates" give the race a bad reputation. The second class is made up of domestic servants, who are generally "simple, kind-hearted, and faithful"; they tend to love and respect their white employers who, in turn, become fond of them. The third class is the most complex, and is made up of well-to-do and educated African-Americans. They are almost solely concerned with the race question. White people are suspicious of them. When "colored" people are ambitious and successful, their white neighbors often think they are putting on airs. While educated "colored" people may feel some kinship with white Americans, they also feel the brunt of prejudice and discrimination, which inspires resentment. However, the narrator makes it a point to note that this class of "colored" people joyfully engages in American social gatherings, like dances and society dinners, even though they are segregated from their lighter-skinned counterparts.