"The Auto-biography of an Ex-colored Man," by James Weldon Johnson, is the tragic fictional story of an unnamed narrator who tells the story of his coming-of-age at the beginning of the 20th century. Light-skinned enough to pass for white but emotionally tied to his mother's heritage, he ends up a failure in his own eyes after he chooses to follow the easier path while witnessing a white mob set fire to a black man. First published in 1912, "The Auto-biography of an Ex-colored Man" explores the intricacies of racial identity through the eventful life of its mixed-race narrator. Throughout the book, James Weldon Johnson's protagonist is torn between the opportunities open to him as an apparently white person and his strong sense of black identity. Though he marries a white woman, he lives a life plagued with guilt regarding his abandonment of his heritage as an African-American. James Weldon Johnson's writing is so powerful and believable that many readers took the book for a true autobiography until Johnson acknowledged his authorship in 1914. Many years later, Johnson wrote his own autobiography, titled "Along This Way" in part to show that the story of his own life was not the story of the protagonist in the "Autobiography".