AALBC .com Platinum Poster
Post Number: 4839
|Posted on Friday, January 16, 2009 - 02:24 pm: |
When Toni Morrison "attacked" Ralph Ellison as you say...it wasn't quite the way that you claim.
Since you're a White male and not a Black female, I will try to explain the "blind spot" that you're missing.
What Ms. Morrison has said (and quietly argued) when asked about the book "THE INVISIBLE MAN" was quite simply this---"Invisible to WHO?"
And she's quite right, because when I read
that book---as much as I loved it and consider
it to be a masterpiece---as
a Black woman who has given birth to
2 black males, I found myself constantly
asking that question all throughout the
book as well.
For one moment, Steve...try to pretend
that you are Black--but have the same
dignity and intellectual prowess that you
have right now as a human with White skin
and critical thinking skills.
In Morrison juxtaposing Achebe's book
"Things Fall Apart" with "Invisible Man"....
...just as Morrison has pointed out, the
Ellison book and its lead character places
THE WHITE DEVIL MAN as not only the standard of humanity, but the "God" that blacks must
reach and be SEEN BY.
By accident (and undeniably), Ellison
indicates that the all important
"bluest eye"...is what
validates any man's manhood
---and reveals it as an obsession for
As she stated, she loved Achebe's "Things
Fall Apart"--because in that book---the
tribes completely dismiss the White man.
As "Invisible Man" focuses solely on the
White Man's great power and his cruelty
in not sharing power with Black men he once
owned...the characters in "Things Fall Apart,"
in the midst of all their disarray and "falling apart", do not consider the White Man an
equal, let alone an abandoning "father figure."
They acknowledge that White men's actions in
COLONIZING, killing and robbing them were those of an ENEMY...but they never deify him.
To them--what THEIR EYES SEE, right or wrong
(and God knows Africans are wrong-headed quite
a lot)...but they measure the validity of everything on what THEIR EYES see.
Morrison's question, "Invisible to WHO?"
...addresses the millions of Black Women
who were right there by the Black man's
side and whose eyes were not and are not
"valued" by the thing they gave birth to.
The thing they protected and kept alive
with what little power they had---even
if they had to bed Mr. Charlie to keep
a son from being lynched, or get him
that job on the rail.
The Black Man did not fight his revolution
in this country---Black women did.
Going all the way back to Harriet Tubman
and Sojourner Truth--Black women put him
up to it and literally carried his revolution
on their backs.
And right now today, the spoils and rewards
of that revolution are firmly in the hands
of "Black men"---women who look like Tubman
and Truth are not even acknowledged as
women in 2009.
As Alice Walker wrote: "The revolution never
seems to come for the Black woman herself."
If you are an intellectual person, then
you should have the depths to understand
Morrison's argument---and especially to
realize that "different types of people"
have a different perspective by virtue
of skin color, sex and class.
Morrison's point is not only valid, but
it could be applied to the programming
on the BET network or the newly released
Perhaps you take comfort in these type
of men (the lead in "Invisible Man")...but
don't you also see that these men are
abandoning their own identities and
I particularly HATED the scene in the
book where the lead character rapes his
sleeping daughter (a little child)---while dreaming that he's broken into a great
and magical White-White Room full of
all things WHITE and Breezy
(a white woman).
As the movie "Amistad" broached---why
shouldn't Black Men exist as themselves
without the Faux souls of White men and
their white mothers?
And WHY, STEVE?...would a competent
Black Mother not take issue with a
Black man saying that only the
"bluest eye" and what IT SEES has
the power to define and validate him?
I felt quite vindicated in my own
written works when Morrison stated
quite bravely to the entire publishing
world----"INVISIBLE TO WHO?"