The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912/1927) by James Weldon Johnson is the fictional account of a young biracial man, referred to only as the "Ex-Colored Man", living in post-Reconstruction era America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He lives through a variety of experiences, including witnessing a lynching, that convince him to "pass" as white to secure his safety and advancement, but he feels as if he has given up his dream of "glorifying" the black race by composing ragtime music.
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