Friday, February 6, 2009

Current Reading: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Ralph (Waldo) Ellison (1914-1994)

African-American writer, teacher, whose novel INVISIBLE MAN (1952) gained a wide critical success. Ellison has been compared to such writers as Melville and Hawthorne. He has used racial issues to express universal dilemmas of identity and self-discovery but avoided taking a straightforward political stand. "Literature is colorblind," he once said. Many artists of the Black Arts movement rejected Ellison for his insistence that America be a land of cultural exchange and synergy. Talented in many fields, Ellison also was an accomplished jazz trumpeter and a free-lance photographer.

"''I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. 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." (from The Invisible Man, prologue)

Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Lewis Ellision, his father, named his son after the famous American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, telling that he was "raising this boy up to be a poet." Lewis, who had spent his youth as a soldier and as an entrepreneur, was a vendor of ice and coal; he died accidentally. Ellison admired his father greatly, seeing him as a hero. His mother, Ida Ellison, supported herself and her children by working as a domestic. Ida, whom close friends called "Brownie," belived in Socialism and was arrested several times for violating the segregation orders. While growing up, Ellison began performing on the trumpet during high school years. Among his friends were the blues singer Jimmy Rushing and trumpeter Hot Lips Page. With the help of a music scolarship, Ellision studied at the Tuskegee Institute in Macon County, Alabama (1933-1936). However, the atmospere in Tuskegee was conservative and jazz was considered primitive. Ellision dropped out to pursue a career in the visual arts.

Invisible Man (1952) tells a story of a nameless Afro-American man, who is losing his sense of identity in a world of prejudice and hostility. He has an underground cellar to solve his relationship with the rest of the society. In the dark there is no colors and to fill the space with light he burns 1,369 bulbs. Before becoming free from all illusions, the narrator makes a feverish, Dantesque journey through his experiences in a segregated community in South to the North. With the prologue's theme song, 'What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue', Ellison suggests that jazz might represent a fusion of different cultural influences in American society, but it also serves as a key to the mind of the narrator. Education and class consciousness do not help him in his despair but adds to his difficulties. Finally he is ready to enter the world and says: "Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" Invisible Man was rewarded with National Book Award in 1953. It was considered in 1965 in an inquiry of 200 authors and critics among the most important works after World War II. Ellison insisted that he wrote the novel thinking not of its sociological insights into injustice, but strictly of the art of writing. He was deeply interested in the works of Russian authors, with the most obvious influence being Feodor Dostoevskii's Notes from the Underground, and its parallel 'The Man Who Lived Underground' by Richard Wright. But unlike Dostoevskii's protagonist, Ellison's hero is not ready to yield and retire, he is not an outsider and his retreat is only temporary.

My Secret Love Affair

I am having a secret affair. I am in love and I just can't get enough. It's been going on for years, and the time has come where I can no longer keep it to myself. I want sing it out from the highest mountain tops, and I am going to do just that.There was a time that this love affair would have been forbidden, punishable by a beating or even death. Granted, this time period was before I was born, and I am grateful for this. I know that I am not the only one who has had an affair of this sort before; and it is because of this that I feel that I must speak out and tell the world!!!!!

Yes that is my secret. Books are the secret love of my life, but it shouldn't be a secret. I should tell everyone that I meet that I LOVE BOOKS (For all of my slow ppl I literally mean a book, I know I use nicknames on my blog, but this time I am referring to an object not a person).

I have decided to go public with our affair because I was watching TV and saw a commercial about Black History Month. As I watch the commercial I thought of all the books that I have read and how grateful I should be for the ability to read and write freely. I have read many books depicting the period in American history that people like myself were not permitted to read. It was actually illegal, and here I am hiding my love for reading. I felt like I was insulting all of my ancestors by not being proud of my love of reading. To honor their memory and struggle for all the right that we now have because of them I have decided to start reading all of the great black authors through out history. I am starting by reading all the books that I didn't read in high school that are on the reading list. The book that I have started is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Every time I start a new book I will do a post about the book and its author. When I finish the book I will write a post about what the book has taught me. I think everyone should join me in honoring our ancestors by reading as much as you can.

It doesn't have to be a book I read, it can be any book. JUST READ!!!!!

ooks are the legacies that a great genius leaves to
mankind, which are delivered down from generation to
generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn,
~ Joseph Addison ~

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Think This Is So Cute!!!!

I stole this from But this is me

Name: Kimberly Renee Banks
Birth date: August 25, 1985
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Current Location: Atlanta, GA
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black; but the its dyed brown with honey streaks
Height: 5'1
Piercings: Yes 5
Tattoos: No
Boyfriend/Girlfriend: No
Overused phrase: Clearly
Food: Mexican and Seafood
Candy: Gummy Bears, Almond Joys, or Reeses
Number: 13, 15
Color: Purple and Red
Animal: Tweety
Drink: Raspberry Ginger ale
Bagel: Asiago cheese with plain cream cheese
NFL Team: Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers
Vacation Spot: Madrid
This or That
Pepsi or Coke: Cherry or Vanilla Coke
McDonald's or Burger King: McDonalds: only nuggets
Strawberry or Watermelon: Strawberry
Hot tea or Ice tea: Sweet Ice tea
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla with strawberries on top
Hot Chocolate or Coffee: Godiva Hot Chocolate with soy milk and raspberry syrup
Dog or Cat: Dog
Rap or Punk: Rap
Summer or Winter: Summer
Scary Movies or Funny Movies: Funny movies...I love to laugh
Love or Money: Love,Love,Love.....SIEMPRE AMOR!!!!
Bedtime: Hopefully before midnight
Most Missed Memory: the FB and BBall games
Best physical feature: My smile
First Thought Waking Up: I'm glad I opened my eyes today, and that I hear the sounds of my family and am glad that they are ok as well
Goal for this year: One is a secret and the other is to continue my education
Weakness:Want to see the best in everyone, I can be too trusting
Fears: 18 wheelers, loneliness, heartbreak, and heights
Heritage: African American
Longest relationship: depends on the perspective
Ever been beaten up: No
Ever beaten someone up: No
Ever Shoplifted: No
Ever Kissed Opposite sex: yes
Been Dumped Lately: LOL
Number of Regrets in the Past: Never regret anything, because at one point in time it was exactly what you wanted.
What country do you want to Visit: Australia
How do you want to Die: When I have completed God's plan for my life
Been to the Mall Lately: Yes
Do you like Thunderstorms: Yes, I like to lay in the bed listening to the rain
Get along with your Parents: Lol, yeah my parents are wonderful
Health Freak: sometimes
Do you think your Attractive: I think that I am beautiful young black woman
Believe in Yourself: Yes of course, If I don't who will
Shower Daily: Um yeah, if you don't...EEEWWWW
Been in Love: Yes, Its wonderful...but you have to deal with the good and bad
Do you Sing: Yea I sing in the car or in my house when I'm alone
Do you want Children: Yes
How many: I want about 2 to 3.. But probably 2
Have your future kids names planned out: I have thought about it but nothing is definate. That a decision for parents to make together.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This guy here!!!! I LOVE him!!!!!. We are going to call him FUNDY!!! He is sunshine on a cloudy day. Fundy listens to my problems and always manages to make me laugh. Lately he has had to listen to my mid-day rants. If I get upset I call him (using up all his daytime and he lets me yell or just listens to me talk...and no matter how upset I am he finds a way to say the most off the wall statements that make me laugh and forget my problems.
I think that everyone should have their own Fundy. They are always up, no matter how late you call or text, they never get tired of listening to your men problems ( and if they do, they never let you know that). A Fundy is essential to a happy stress free life. So go find yourself a Fundy...Everyone needs laughter in their life.

Friends: How many of us "TRULY" have them

The word "friend" is used by almost everyone in the world, but it does not always hold the same meaning for everyone. Above is a picture of the young woman that I can say is truly a friend. I have known her since our freshman year of high school. We have been there for each other through triumphs and downfalls. Never judging each other but supporting each other. I love her like a sister and I hope that everyone gets to experience a friendship like ours in their life.

509LIVE!!!!! I mean there are really no words to describe what 509Live means to me. These are my girls....they are the type of friends that unfortunately are not found by everyone. These young ladies are CANNOT and WILL NOT every be replace by anyone or anything in my life. I can honestly say I do not even remember how we all met, but these ladies were my stronghold in college, and still have my back now. Each lady in this picture has characteristics that I love and admire about them: MNB: is never afraid to speak her mind, Fastbreak: has passion for sports and always has a smile on her face, Tramon:full of life and knows how to have fun,Mama C: responible and level headed, and Moop: easy going and full of kindness. They all have touched my life in a special way. They accept me for who I truly am. We have laughed together, fought each other and cried together over the years. The memories I have with these young ladies are PRICELESS and in someway have shaped me into the person that I am, and still becoming. I LOVE 509 LIVE!!!!!!! "Can we go to waffle house"

This young lady and I have known each other since high school, but we became closer in college and she is what I call a "real friend". She has come to be someone I can trust and confide in. One thing I admire about her is that she is never afraid to go after what she wants. She may not know it but she has really helped me grow as a person. I love my cheerleader!!!!! From Raiders to Bulldogs!!!!

One of my most recent friends is like an older sister to me. She encourages me and is easy to talk to. I never feel like she is judging me. Her success is motivation for me. She is never afraid to face a new challenge and she gives her best in all that she does. I have always heard that birds of a feather flock together. So take a look at the people you surround yourself with. Are they focused, self-motivated, intelligent, cultured, is there something about that person that you admire, are they doing something positive with their life?
If the people you are around are not helping you better yourself, then you may want to look into finding some new friends. This woman inspires me, encourages me, and listens to me. Sometimes the best kind of a friend is one that you admire.

All these ladies are TRULY my friends and
my sisters. I love them and I will always be there for them.

We all need someone
To talk to in our life,
A friend to whom we run
In times of stress or strife

A friend who's always there
Throughout the years,
A friend we know will care
And take away our fears.

A friend who's always near,
Waiting for our call,
To wipe away our tears,
And lift us when we fall.

A loving friend indeed,
On whom we can depend
To fulfill our every need -
Thank you, precious friend

*A Friend is someone who knows all your faults, and still loves you*

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Beginning of My Growth

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses are not contracts,
and present's aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead...

With the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child.

And you learn
To build all your roads on today,

Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much…

So, you plant your own garden,
and decorate your own soul...
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…
you really are strong,
you really do have worth.

And you learn, and you learn…
with every goodbye,

You Learn…

I read this poem and I was captivated by the author's message. The last two words of the poem are "you learn" , and the they are the most powerful to me. I personally believe that their are two type of people in this world. People that learn from their experiences and grow; and then there are people that let their experiences stunt their growth.
I say that you should learn and grow from everything that happens to you. If it was a good experience then...Do it again. If it was bad..move on, remember what you didn't like about it, and try not to do it again...Sounds simple when I say it like that, but its really not. It takes time to learn how to do this...I'm still in that process, but I am getting better at it, which means I am growing as a person.
I'd rather learn from 1000 mistakes then one day look back on my life and realize that I didn't live it to the fullest. I'm living life and trying to "grow" through my mistakes.

You only get one life, Make it count!!!!!

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. ~Eleanor Roosevelt