It is very likely that the African Americans] of the United States have a fairly correct idea of what the white people of the country think of them, for that opinion has for a long time been and is still being constantly stated; but they are themselves more or less a sphinx to the whites. It is curiously interesting and even vitally important to know what are the thoughts of ten millions of them concerning the people among whom they live. In these pages it is as though a veil had been drawn aside: the reader is given a view of the inner life of the African American] in America, is initiated into the "freemasonry," as it were, of the race. These pages also reveal the unsuspected fact that prejudice against the African American] is exerting a pressure which, in New York and other large cities where the opportunity is open, is actually and constantly forcing an unascertainable number of fair-complexioned colored people over into the white race. - Taken from "The Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man" written by James Weldon Johnson.