Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man


James Weldon Johnson

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Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Terms


A 19th century Polish-French composer famous for his solo piano works. read analysis of Chopin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The best-selling book of the 19th century, a landmark 1852 novel by the white abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe that depicted the horrors of slavery but also advanced certain long-enduring stereotypes about African-Americans. The narrator reads… read analysis of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe

An influential Christian abolitionist writer best remembered for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. read analysis of Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips)

An 1861 address by white abolitionist lawyer Wendell Phillips, the “Toussaint L’Ouverture” recounted the life story of the Haitian independence leader of the same name in order to demonstrate the inherent equality of white and… read analysis of “Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips)

Beethoven’s “Sonata Pathétique”

Beethoven’s famously tragic and haunting eighth piano sonata. read analysis of Beethoven’s “Sonata Pathétique”
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Atlanta University

Formerly the largest historically black university in the United States, founded in 1865 by a prominent abolitionist group in conjunction with the Freedmen’s Bureau created to promote economic development and create educational opportunities for emancipated… read analysis of Atlanta University

Pullman Porters

Black railway employees who worked on the Pullman Car Company’s sleeper trains. This was one of the first professions black Americans could access after the Civil War, and Pullman Porters are widely credited with helping… read analysis of Pullman Porters

Cuban rebels

Nationalist groups fighting for Cuban independence from Spain during the third and final War of Independence, from 1895-1898. read analysis of Cuban rebels


A dance developed by emancipated slaves in the South who imitated their former owners’ ballroom dance styles; couples competed to show off their style and the winners would receive a cake or some other extravagant… read analysis of Cake-Walk

Uncle Remus Stories

A collection of African-American folktales published by Joel Chandler Harris and presented as parables told by the fictional elder Uncle Remus. read analysis of Uncle Remus Stories

Fisk Jubilee Songs

A repertoire of spirituals (religious songs written by enslaved black Americans) performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a touring a capella group active since 1871 and based at Fisk University in Nashville (where James Weldon… read analysis of Fisk Jubilee Songs


An African-American musical style based on syncopation (stressing off-beats) that emerged in the Midwest in the closing years of the 19th century and rapidly gained popularity around the United States and, eventually, the world. read analysis of Ragtime


Performers in minstrel shows, a kind of performance theater popular until the mid-20th century in which performers, usually white actors in blackface, mocked black people by portraying exaggerated, stereotyped characters. read analysis of Minstrel


Visiting people and in places of a lower socioeconomic status for the sake of entertainment—especially among affluent white people going to nonwhite areas and establishments. read analysis of “Slumming”


A derogatory word for people of African descent, commonly used to push degrading stereotypes in racist representations like minstrel shows. read analysis of “Darky”


A port city in Normandy, on the northern coast of France. read analysis of Havre


A German folk tale that has been widely adapted to literature, theater, and film, most notably in two plays: Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1592) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust (published… read analysis of Faust

Grand Opera

The primary French opera production company, or the internationally renowned Palais Garnier opera house where many of its most important pieces are performed. read analysis of Grand Opera

Jim Crow

The systematic policies of racial discrimination and segregation in the South that ensured a lower quality of life and fewer access to resources for black Americans in the 100 years after the Civil War. read analysis of Jim Crow

Howard University

A prominent, prestigious historically black university in Washington, DC. read analysis of Howard University

W.E.B. Du Bois

An African-American scholar, activist, and professor at Atlanta University best remembered for his seminal book The Souls of Black Folk. Du Bois became the first black man to earn a doctorate at Harvard, helped… read analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois


A term with different meanings in different religious traditions and contexts that generally refers metaphorically to a holy land of some sort (and most specifically to a hill in Jerusalem). read analysis of Zion


Broadly, extralegal killing by a mob; specifically, the organized, public murder of black people by whites, who seldom faced punishment, as a tool to impose racial terror and white supremacy during Jim Crow in the… read analysis of Lynching

Eden Musée

An entertainment venue and wax museum in Manhattan, opened in 1884 and shut down in 1915. read analysis of Eden Musée

Fauré’s 13th Nocturne

The 19th century French composer Gabriel Fauré’s final, solemn nocturne (piece of “night music”) for piano. read analysis of Fauré’s 13th Nocturne

Hampton Institute

A university created to educate free blacks after the end of slavery. Like Atlanta and Howard Universities, the Hampton Institute focused on practical training for industrial careers. Booker T. Washington was its most famous… read analysis of Hampton Institute

Carnegie Hall

One of the world’s most prestigious performance venues for music of all genres, located in New York and often used for lectures as well. read analysis of Carnegie Hall

Booker T. Washington

A black activist, politician, and educator who was prominent and powerful from 1890 until 1915. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery less than a decade before emancipation and went on to the Hampton Instituteread analysis of Booker T. Washington