American Literature: Period 6
18 Mar. 2008
A Missing Freedom In The Land Of The Free
“America’s not a blanket woven from one thread, one color, one cloth” (Jackson 458).
Jesse Jackson said this as a response to the intense feelings of racism that prevailed in twentieth
century America. Such feelings paved the way for years of difficulty for all of America as
African Americans struggled to find their place in a world that so strongly advocated white
supremacy. With segregation, civil rights’ movements, and riotous outbreaks, the many threads
that America is sewn from slowly began to unravel, throwing the entire nation into darkness. For
years to come, America would fumble around in the dark, trying to find a solution to the racist
feelings of the world. This sentiment of racial inequality sparked inspiration for Ralph Ellison’s
novel Invisible Man.
A witness to this era of bigotry, Ellison uses theprotagonist in his novel Invisible Man to
mirror the events of the 1900’s, which led countless African American to the destruction of their
American drams. Invisible Man documents the lifestyle of an African American man during the
twentieth century. Ellison uses his unnamed narrator to voice a reaction to the violence,
emotional oppression, and the slow recovery form that feeling of racial inequality that once
threatened to destroy the American dream for African Americans.