25 August 2015

NYC #55: Ralph Ellison, Harlem

Just off Riverside Drive at 150th Street, Harlem, this superb memorial:

'Ralph Ellison

American writer
Longtime resident of 730 Riverside Drive.

His pioneering novel, Invisible Man (1952),
details the struggle of a young
African-American man in a hostile society.'

'"I am an invisible man....
I am invisible, understand, simply because
people refuse to see me."
                         –– Ralph Ellison, 1952
                            Invisible Man

Elizabeth Catlett
May 2003'

'"The very idea of New York was dreamlike,
for like many young Negroes of the time, I thought of
it as the freest of American cities, and considered
Harlem as the site and symbol of Afro-American
progress and hope. Indeed, I was both young and
bookish enough to think of Manhattan as my
substitute for Paris, and of Harlem as a place of Left
Bank excitement. So now that I was there in its
glamorous scene, I meant to make the most of its
                        –– Ralph Ellison
                        An Extravagance of Laughter, 1986'

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