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Audiobooks by James Weldon Johnson

Browse audiobooks by James Weldon Johnson, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us

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Classic Black Narratives: 12 Years a Slave, The Souls of Black Folk, The Interesting Narrative of th

Classic Black Narratives: 12 Years a Slave, The Souls of Black Folk, The Interesting Narrative of th

Witness powerful stories about the effects and realities of living in a prejudiced society in this audio bundle of classic Black narratives. These selections are both fictional and nonfictional stories of living in a society that devalues and dehumanizes the lives of Black people. Though all four of these books were written over a hundred years ago, the realities within are still important for modern readers to read and understand. 12 Years a Slave - This is the memoir account of Solomon Northup, a man born free in New York but who ended up sold into slavery in Louisiana. This account tells of his time working in plantations and his eventual escape from slavery. The Souls of Black Folk - The Souls of Black Folk was published in 1903 as a collection of essays from W.E.B. Du Bois, an African-American sociologist. This book is comprised of 14 essays, with Du Bois's overall message being that Black people were equally worthy of the rights of white people. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano - This memoir is the story of a man born in Africa and sold into slavery as a young child. He was sold between several owners and sent around the world throughout his life, eventually working to purchase his own freedom. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man - This novel follows the life of an unnamed biracial man who lives his early life among Black communities, but upon witnessing a horrific lynching, decides to live as an "Ex-Colored Man" and pass himself off as white.

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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: David Dear Release Date: 01/02/2021

In the years after the Civil War, there was an unfortunate amount of importance placed on racial identity. The focus on the races of one’s parents remained a mainstay of culture due to systemic prejudice and racism, and was a way of continuing to enact violence against Black people. For many mixed-race people, it felt safer to try and shift into white society. It is in this environment that The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is written. In this novel, the narrator describes his life as a Black child and young adult, working his way through the various social classes. He becomes a musician and travels the world as a free Black man for much of his life, but eventually makes the decision to live as a white man after witnessing a horrific lynching. The rest of his life is spent keeping a piece of himself hidden from everyone in an attempt at safety. The story in this novel is fictional, but it comprises a lot of Black experiences from the time period, and offers the perspective of a mixed-race man living in a society that demanded people obscure their true heritage.

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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: Daniel Lopez Release Date: 01/08/2020

One of the most prominent African-Americans of his time, James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) was a successful lawyer, educator, social reformer, songwriter, and critic. But it was as a poet and novelist that he achieved lasting fame. Among his most famous works, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man in many ways parallels Johnson's own remarkable life. First published in 1912, the novel relates, through an anonymous narrator, events in the life of an American of mixed ethnicity whose exceptional abilities and ambiguous appearance allow him unusual social mobility — from the rural South to the urban North and eventually to Europe. A radical departure from earlier books by black authors, this pioneering work not only probes the psychological aspects of 'passing for white' but also examines the American caste and class system. The human drama is powerful and revealing — from the narrator's persistent battles with personal demons to his firsthand observations of a Southern lynching and the mingling of races in New York's bohemian atmosphere at the turn of the century. Revolutionary for its time, the Autobiography remains both an unrivaled example of black expression and a major contribution to American literature.

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The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson

The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: Danny Swopes, Ghizela Rowe, Richard Mitchley Release Date: 01/05/2020

James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida on June 17th 1871. His mother, Helen, a musician and a public school teacher initially home-schooled him giving him a love of both English literature and European music. At 16 his education moved to Atlanta University and he graduated with a degree in 1894. In 1904 Johnson helped in Theodore Roosevelt's presidential bid. On winning Roosevelt appointed him as US consul at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela in 1906 and then Nicaragua from 1909. Johnson worked for the NAACP from 1916 as a field secretary, organizing local chapters. To counter race riots and lynching’s he organized mass demonstrations, such as a silent protest parade of over ten thousand African Americans down New York’s Fifth Avenue in July 1917. In 1920 Johnson was elected to manage the NAACP, the first African American to hold this position. That same year he was dispatched to monitor conditions in Haiti and described in The Nation the brutal occupation and also offered remedies. During the 1920’s he was one of the major inspirations of the Harlem RenaissanceIn the midst of all this he continued to write novels, poems, and folklore. In 1917, he saw published ‘50 Years and Other Poems’. In 1922, he edited ‘The Book of American Negro Poetry’, which the Academy of American Poets calls "a major contribution to the history of African-American literature." In 1927 followed ‘God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse’. One of the first African-American professors at NYU he was also, later, a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University. His career spanned several elements; education, the diplomatic corps, civil rights activism, literature, poetry, and music. James Weldon Johnson died on June 26th, 1938 whilst vacationing in Wiscasset, Maine when his car was hit by a train.

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The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson

The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: Danny Swopes, Ghizela Rowe, Jesse Wright Release Date: 01/01/2020

James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida on June 17th 1871. His mother, Helen, a musician and a public school teacher initially home-schooled him giving him a love of both English literature and European music. At 16 his education moved to Atlanta University and he graduated with a degree in 1894. In 1904 Johnson helped in Theodore Roosevelt's presidential bid. On winning Roosevelt appointed him as US consul at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela in 1906 and then Nicaragua from 1909. Johnson worked for the NAACP from 1916 as a field secretary, organizing local chapters. To counter race riots and lynching’s he organized mass demonstrations, such as a silent protest parade of over ten thousand African Americans down New York’s Fifth Avenue in July 1917. In 1920 Johnson was elected to manage the NAACP, the first African American to hold this position. That same year he was dispatched to monitor conditions in Haiti and described in The Nation the brutal occupation and also offered remedies. During the 1920’s he was one of the major inspirations of the Harlem RenaissanceIn the midst of all this he continued to write novels, poems, and folklore. In 1917, he saw published ‘50 Years and Other Poems’. In 1922, he edited ‘The Book of American Negro Poetry’, which the Academy of American Poets calls "a major contribution to the history of African-American literature." In 1927 followed ‘God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse’. One of the first African-American professors at NYU he was also, later, a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University. His career spanned several elements; education, the diplomatic corps, civil rights activism, literature, poetry, and music. James Weldon Johnson died on June 26th, 1938 whilst vacationing in Wiscasset, Maine when his car was hit by a train.

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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: Richard Allen Release Date: 01/12/2012

Originally published anonymously in 1912, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man revealed as never before the color line dividing America, and the price it exacted on those souls who could traverse the two worlds. The book presents the fictional account of 'an ex-colored man' - an African-American who could pass for white - as he attempts to choose which side of the line will better suit his life, and his psyche. Later republished, properly, as the work of James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography has gone on to become a classic novel of the early twentieth century, and Dreamscape is proud to present this new recording to coincide with the 100th anniversary of this great book.

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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: Bill Andrew Quinn, William Andrew Quinn Release Date: 01/12/2011

James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man takes place in post Reconstruction era America and follows the story of a young biracial male. Johnson poses a complex dilemma: because the “Ex-Colored Man,” which is the only name by which the protagonist is referred, represents what, at the time was, a social contradiction of race and culture, he is forced to choose which aspect of his heritage to publicly express. His options are to embrace his black heritage and culture, or to pass as a white man cloaked in middle-class, mediocre obscurity. Johnson’s novel explores racial tensions in late nineteenth and early twentieth century culture through this poignant coming of age story. “Johnson’s theme of moral cowardice sets his tragic story of a mulatto in the United States above other sentimental narratives. The unnamed narrator, the offspring of a black mother and white father, tells of his coming-of-age at the beginning of the 20th century. Light-skinned enough to pass for white but emotionally tied to his mother’s heritage, he ends up a failure in his own eyes after he chooses to follow the easier path while witnessing a white mob set fire to a black man…Recommended.”--Library Journal

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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: Alan Bomar Jones Release Date: 01/12/2010

In James Weldon Johnson's emotionally gripping and poignant look into race relations, a half-white half-black man of very light complexion must choose between his heritage and the art that he loves and the ability to escape the inherent racism that he faces by passing as a white.

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God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse

God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse

Author: James Weldon Johnson Narrator: A Full Cast, Various Release Date: 01/09/2008

Introduced by Maya Angelou, the inspiring sermon-poems of James Weldon Johnson  James Weldon Johnson was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and one of the most revered African Americans of all time, whose life demonstrated the full spectrum of struggle and success. In God's Trombones, one of his most celebrated works, inspirational sermons of African American preachers are reimagined as poetry, reverberating with the musicality and splendid eloquence of the spirituals. This classic collection includes 'Listen Lord (A Prayer),' 'The Creation,' 'The Prodigal Son,' 'Go Down Death (A Funeral Sermon),' 'Noah Built the Ark,' 'The Crucifixion,' 'Let My People Go,' and 'The Judgment Day.' For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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