The unnamed narrator of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" (1952) witnesses the police shooting of his former fellow activist Tod Clifton: "And somewhere between the dull roar of traffic and the subway vibrating underground I heard rapid explosions and saw [...] Clifton still facing the cop and suddenly crumpling." After the narrator speaks at Clifton's funeral, unrest spreads in Harlem, and he falls in with a group wandering the streets and commenting on what's happening: "If it become a sho 'nough race riot I want to be here where there'll be some fighting back." This fictional police shooting of an unarmed black man takes place in the middle of the twentieth century. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 4 May 2022)
Wednesday, May 04, 2022
The "sho 'nough race riot" in Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"
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