"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than the known way.'" (Minnie Haskins)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Invisible Man

An intern working on community organization with me in my neighborhood loaned me Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison months ago. Started trying to read it while I was in Africa. A little too intense and deep for that... loving the book though it's taking me awhile to finish. The first words hit home and made me see the folks who live both in my neighborhood as well as the slum I was visiting in Kissimu.

"I am an invisible man. No, I am not the spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination - indeed, everything, and anything except me."

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