Ralph Ellison was born on this day, March 1, in 1914 in Oklahoma City, OK. He was best known for The Invisible Man, his 1952 novel, which addressed social issues of the time for African-Americans.
Here are some memorable quotes from that novel:
- “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
- “What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?”
- “Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
- “Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.”
- “I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself.”