This book is beautiful, groundbreaking, visceral and darkly funny. Involving a nameless African American protagonist in the 1940's and 1950s, the book is about race and humanity. The book was one of the first to so bluntly point out the identity of the African American community in the pre-civil rights America. Ellison's hero defines himself as invisible because people only see him in the context they choose to. He is kicked out of his all black college for showing a white trustee the reality of the conditions that African Americans were living in the south and then moves to New York City seeking truth, and finding none. The book references jazz music, particularly the Louis Armstrong song "(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue" and I suggest reading it while listening to that song or jazz music of the era. It flows along perfectly with the music and creates an almost meditative reading experience. All Americans should read this book.
A Black man's search for success and the American dream leads him out of college to Harlem and a growing sense of personal rejection and social invisibility