Ellison's Resistance: The Place for Underground Praxis in the Black Radical Constellation
Taylor, Terrell Anderson
In this intervention, I evaluate the literary work of Ralph Ellison with respect to other black writers of his time to explore the precise-rather than perceived-differences and similarities between his aesthetic and political perspective and others that have been accepted into a loosely defined canon of the black radical tradition. By comparing Ellison's thought against that of James Baldwin and Frantz Fanon, I demonstrate the tactical insight of Ellison's thought, as well as the convergences between Fanon (as an accepted black radical thinker) and Ellison. It is important to remember that Black Skin, White Masks and Invisible Man were both published in the same year, 1952. While Fanon and Ellison do not explicitly acknowledge each other, both are responding to similar pressures on black politics, aesthetics, and culture. A comparison of these two thinkers, Fanon and Ellison, reveals a hidden dimension of black radical praxis that has been dismissed as non-avant-garde.