Abstract

Through a reading of his fictional account of the Harlem race riot of 1943 that serves as the closing scenes of Invisible Man, this essay delineates Ellison's racial philosophy, a rubric as much an expression of black nationalism as it is the formation of an ethical system for human interaction and accountability. It is a reading, though, that necessarily traces Ellison's racially gendered critique of the State and its domestic colonial practices, and the (unevenly) shared psychological consequences of American racial violence on the public sphere. And, in its end, this essay maps the connection Ellison makes between racial injury and the possibility of black patriotism.

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