Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

by

James Weldon Johnson

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

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 black people and argue for the abolition of slavery. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it became a popular graduation speech for black scholars like “Shiny.”

“Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips) Quotes in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man quotes below are all either spoken by “Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips) or refer to “Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips). 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 3 Quotes

He made a striking picture, that thin little black boy standing on the platform, dressed in clothes that did not fit him any too well, his eyes burning with excitement, his shrill, musical voice vibrating in tones of appealing defiance, and his black face alight with such great intelligence and earnestness as to be positively handsome. […] I think there must have rushed over him a feeling akin to that of a gladiator tossed into the arena and bade to fight for his life. I think that solitary little black figure standing there felt that for the particular time and place he bore the weight and responsibility of his race; that for him to fail meant general defeat; but he won, and nobly.

Related Characters: The Narrator or “Ex-Colored Man” (speaker),  “Shiny”
Related Symbols: Clothing and Jewelry
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips) Term Timeline in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

The timeline below shows where the term “Toussaint L’Ouverture” (Lecture by Wendell Phillips) appears in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Collective Progress and Individual Achievement Theme Icon
...he bore the weight and responsibility of his race.” He delivered Wendell Phillips’ lecture “ Toussaint L’Ouverture ” and won over the audience. The narrator notes that other “colored speakers who have... (full context)