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Racial Bias As A Basis For Discrimination

3417 words - 14 pages

Race is a prominent social issue due to the fact that people use racial differences as a basis for discrimination. Even some of today's racism can be traced to the colonialism era of the1400s. Once the Europeans colonized Africa and America the white settlers followed the idea that they were superior race and thought that it was their moral obligation to make the “savages” which were the other races more civilized. It was through this notion that they justified their taking of the native’s land and enslaving the people. As for the African American population fast-forwarding some years in history the 19th century included institutionalized racism and legal discrimination for African ...view middle of the document...

It was Ellison’s lifelong dream to be able to accomplish great things and given his family history he felt like he needed to prove something to the world. Ellison’s grandfather was a slave and both of his mother's parents were sharecroppers in their time. The Ellison family was persistent to give their sons an education that was diverse as well as a significant amount for them to be successful individuals. Once his father passed away in 1916 the family was left with a meager amount of financial support. His mother worked as a domestic and his entire family had to move to a small area that was above a church. As a child when Ellison attended school they were segregated in school he would read various classic literary pieces as well as African American poetry and music. When he graduated from school in 1933 he ventured off to the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and pursued a career in music. Although he had grown accustom to segregation in his Oklahoma school Ellison did not realize the scale of racism in the South. When he was traveling to the institute he decided to catch a ride on a train that was going towards the direction he wanted. From there white detectives beat him up mercilessly for hitching a ride on a train. When he decided that the school’s curriculum was too traditional and not contemporary enough for his liking he decided to rebel against the school and discover works from individuals such as T.S. Elliot. This idea of modernism would later be featured in the novel Invisible Man. Later on in his life he decided to stay in Harlem and found work writing in the Federal Writers Project. As a part of the project he was collected African-American “folklore” as well as slave narratives. And in 1942 he became the managing editor of Negro Quarterly, which gave him the opportunity to aid writers in their young writing careers.
The Novel is set during the 1950s and starts off in the narrator’s current home which is underground and flips back and forth between it begins his childhood home which was in the rural portion of the South as well as the time he spent in his black college. When the narrator is expelled from the school he becomes very upset with the fact that he can no longer become an educator and moves north to Harlem. In Harlem he is able to find work for a place called Liberty Paints before he goes off and becomes a part of a communist type group called the Brotherhood who supposedly works for equality. The story basically follows the narrator and his journey to finding his own identity when put down by the social hierarchy that is the white man. Throughout his entire journey he meets many individuals such as Mr. Norton a white “trustee” in his college. Mr. Bledsoe, his college’s black president and Jim Trueblood who is a black sharecropper. Ellison utilizes the experiences with these men as a way to develop themes such as violence, the American dream, memory, innocence as well as experience, and oppression.
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