5 Best Ralph Ellison Quotes from ‘Invisible Man’

For Black History Month, we here at Bookstr are celebrating black authors and their stories. Today, we’re shining a light on novelist and scholar Ralph Ellison. Invisible Man was the only novel he wrote and was published during his lifetime. He also wrote two collections of essays, and his novel Juneteenth was published posthumously.

Invisible Man won the National Book award for fiction in 1953. It’s continued to be praised as one of the best novels of the 20th century, and one everyone should read. Here are five of the most memorable, thought-provoking, and inspiring quotes from Invisible Man.

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“I am an invisible man….. 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.”



“The world is possibility if only you’ll discover it.”


“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”


“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”


“And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone’s way but my own.”

“America is woven of many strands. I would recognize them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.”


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