Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man is still as powerful and elegant now as it was when I first read it in school. I understand it better now that I am a bit more mature. I understand it better reading as an outsider looking back on my homeland. I understand it better as a member of the minority in my chosen home. I understand it less and less as a human.

Less because I cannot fathom the reality that lead to the situation Ellison’s nameless protagonist finds the world in. The idea of slavery, Jim Crow and everything about it causes me to question the human race.

Why? How? To what end?

It’s not a good feeling. Because looking back at history it is obvious that, in fact and despite what we want to think, slavery, Jim Crow and segregation are the norm. Humans are vicious and brutal to everyone who is not a member of their tribe… be the tribe based on race, religion, creed, nation, gender, sexual orientation, political views, the size of ones nose, the size of ones breast or any other trait, physical, mental or metaphysical two humans might differ in.

Invisible Man does not renew my faith in the human race, it destroys it and forces me to go out and seek to rebuild it on my own. To surround myself with like minded people. To attempt to do good in the world. To live an ab-normal life.