Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

by

James Weldon Johnson

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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 prize. It soon became an event of its own, and eventually it in turn became a target for imitation by whites, often in blackface minstrel shows.
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Cake-Walk Term Timeline in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The timeline below shows where the term Cake-Walk appears in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Racism and the Color Line Theme Icon
Music, Emotion, and American Culture Theme Icon
Secrecy, Purity, and Origins Theme Icon
...gray tie.” At another of these raucous balls thrown by hotel waiters, he watched a cake-walk for the first time. Competing for a gold watch, the couples danced in a square... (full context)