James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson was an African American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. He is best known for his leadership in the NAACP, his novel 'The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man', his collection of poems 'God's Trombones', and for writing the lyrics to the Black national anthem, 'Lift Every Voice and Sing'. Johnson's work captured the complexities of African American life and his advocacy contributed significantly to the civil rights movement.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

    The book is a fictional autobiography of a biracial man living in post-Reconstruction America. The protagonist, who is born to a white father and black mother, initially embraces his black heritage and becomes a successful ragtime musician. However, after witnessing a brutal racial attack, he decides to pass as white to avoid racial prejudice. Despite his financial success and comfortable life in white society, he struggles with his decision to deny his African-American heritage.