James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) was an American civil rights activist and writer. He led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was the first African-American professor at New York University. As a writer, Johnson was well-known in the Harlem Renaissance for his novels and poems which dealt primarily with black culture. In “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”, Johnson offers a fictional account of a biracial man living in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who attempts to pass as a white man to ensure his safety and future prospects. Read & Co. Classics is republishing this classic novel now in a new addition complete with the poem “At the Closed Gate of Justice” by James D. Corrothers.