Ralph Ellison Explained Racism in America

Being black in the US 40s means being Invisible Man

To be born a man means to be born with a story, to be born black means to be born with a troubled story. So, today, thanks to the translation of Francesco Pacifico, we are called to ask ourselves what it means to be born black in the 1940s in the United States, more than seventy years after the publication of a novel that does not actually do so. You want to answer us. Invisible Man Written by Ralph Ellison He Can’t Answer Us, Because Out of all the privileges our birth has reserved for us, there is no merit in understanding the condition of the black person in America. It was first published in 1952 – In a new translation in 2021 by Fandango The following year he won the National Book Award, And has established itself as one of the constituent novels of all American literature.

Ralph Ellison was an African American writer, essayist, and music critic. References in his work to the world of music are frequent and deterministic, Because of the study of the piano and trumpet and the admiration of Louis Armstrong: he is thus driven to investigate the relationship between a state of disappearance and the perception of time becoming more pure. Ellison studies both classical and modern authorsAnd, in particular, Eliot and Dostoyevsky, who consolidated their knowledge through a trip to Europe and weaved an ongoing dialogue with him.

A young black man, an unknown, comes from the south to New York to find it Not knowing where you are means not knowing who you are

A young man of African American descent who grew up in the southern United States is being expelled from college for a misunderstanding, favored by the color of his skin, in the context of a rebellion that appears only to be mentioned. Young Holden, It was published just a year ago. Thus it was opened to the young man A period of questioning the facts learned thus farAbout the duty of blacks to immerse themselves in whites and make their way into their world in this way.

What and how much did I lose in trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I wanted? What a waste, what a meaningless waste!

He arrives in New York to look for work, where Mrs. Mary is hosting him and meets the Muslim Brotherhood, a communist organization that aims to save Black race, Which he doubted at first for the same reasons that would eventually sign him because of him: Radical blindness From the French revolutionaries two centuries ago. All of these experiences have two aspects in particular: the weight of expectations On young people like him for the social salvation of blacks, And the weight of invisibility, Which during the narration becomes penetrable with respect to the surrounding environment. Indeed, Identity becomes a reality ObsessionWhich does not prevent him from falling victim to anyone Strange character.

He is invisible because people refuse to see him as a real personInstead of a stereotype, and this causes a real separation from reality, as is the case in different glimpses of the story, we will not be able to recognize whether it is a reality or a hallucinatory dream.

The search for ethnic identity becomes a search for an individual identity

The investigation of racial dynamics does not stop at the social surface, but rather reaches the existential and formal depth of the protagonist, invisible not because of the blindness of others, but because of the absence of light.

Without light, I am not only invisible, but I am also formless, to ignore one’s form is to live death.

The invisible man claims for himself a decision-making ability not only independent of Bianchi, Dall ‘Authority, Come on Gods, From Destination, But also by those who say they are like him. The The fact that it has no name – irrelevant from a structural point of view because the narration is in first-person – And directionAnd the The author himself is easy to identify, but not with the detached reader and the meanings of a lack of empathyThat sterile sympathy that popular culture is so accustomed to. The only revelation is the discovery that these pages are one stream of consciousness permeating musical cues, and now we regret – What did I do to be black and blue? Incitement is now, and the descriptions are suggestive to the point of changing the opinion of those who do not identify themselves as their lover.

Perhaps only recent experiences like the recent shutdown, which rendered us almost invisible from the outside and helpless, and the iconic murder of African American George Floyd, can help us delve deeper into this narrative, which Ellison himself does not believe in. A means of entertainment, but a way to contribute to the creation of the American idea of ​​America.

Francesca Santoro

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