Analysis Of The Ex-Colored Man By James Weldon Johnson

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It was on “...the last of September that I bade farewell to the friends and scenes of my boyhood and boarded a train for the south,” says James Weldon Johnson’s ex-coloured man (Johnson 51). As a young boy, the ex-coloured man was raised by his mother as a talented white pianist in the North. It wasn’t until his later school days that he was faced with the realization that he was biracial. From then on, the ex-coloured man pondered his identity and traveled back and forth from North to South, symbolizing his inner conflict with what color he identified with. The ex-coloured man’s impulsive and frequent moving habits supports the claim that he was unsure what culture he belonged to. Therefore, saying he was a coward and a deserter is both correct and incorrect. …show more content…

Also, because of the unfamiliarity, he had a “peculiar fascination which the South” (Johnson 51). However, the further he went from Washington D.C. the “more disappointed [he] became in the appearance of the country” (Johnson 52). At this point all he had known was the isolated culture and lifestyle of the North. He slowly became more accepting and accustomed to the life of the South. It was “...here [that he] caught [his] first sight of colored people in large numbers” (Johnson 55). Overhearing coloured people talk, he became transfixed on the way they carried themselves when they spoke, especially their dialect. Nevertheless, the ex-coloured man became cowardice and decided he didn’t want to live the difficult life and experience the hardships of being a coloured man. It was “all at once a desire like a fever seized [him] to see the North again and [he] cast my lot with those bound for New York” (Johnson 88). The ex-coloured man acted like a coward because he selfishly used his identity to flip-flop between races, and wanted to choose the easy road instead of the dignified

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