Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

by

James Weldon Johnson

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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 develop a black middle class and advancing the Civil Rights Movement through collective bargaining in the 20th century.

Pullman Porters Quotes in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man quotes below are all either spoken by Pullman Porters or refer to Pullman Porters. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism and the Color Line Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W.W. Norton edition of Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man published in 2015.
Chapter 4 Quotes

They filled the shops and thronged the sidewalks and lined the curb. I asked my companion if all the colored people in Atlanta lived in this street. He said they did not and assured me that the ones I saw were of the lower class. I felt relieved, in spite of the size of the lower class. The unkempt appearance, the shambling, slouching gait and loud talk and laughter of these people aroused in me a feeling of almost repulsion. Only one thing about them awoke a feeling of interest; that was their dialect. I had read some Negro dialect and had heard snatches of it on my journey down from Washington; but here I heard it in all of its fullness and freedom.

Related Symbols: Clothing and Jewelry
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
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Pullman Porters Term Timeline in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The timeline below shows where the term Pullman Porters appears in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Racism and the Color Line Theme Icon
Collective Progress and Individual Achievement Theme Icon
...way in the world” prevented him from crying. In fact, the house was especially for Pullman porters . They went out to find something to eat. (full context)