Amber'Nay asked:

What group of people is this book more relevant to white people or black people. I don't want to make this racist or anything but with the themes this book brought up which audience would have the greater impact from reading this book?

To answer questions about Invisible Man, please sign up.
Seth One of the lines of the book explains it to me: "Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" Speaks for who? You. The reader. Not black or white. There is a connection between the black experience in America, but Ellison uses it to make broader point about the human experience.
Mina Those who are fighting to destroy white supremacy. The oppressors and the oppressed are not the same. White folk should be doing THE WORK to dismantle their own white supremacy. These answers by white folk about it being "For all because its a universal theme" or "it transcends race" is disturbing and reflective of a colonial mindset, where everything is for white folk, or attempting to make everything for them. NOPE. You don't get to just read a book like this, saying its very interesting and take the racial aspects away from it by expanding it to "universal humxn consciousness" That is inherently disrespectful and false. Cultivate awareness about race & power dynamics. Cultivate true wisdom. One day we will get to a place of universal humxn consciousness, and in order to get there- you must name the systems of oppression & do the inner and outer work. This book is not about "powerlessness and being disenfranchised" (that type of language lessens white guilt- instead of naming it for what it actually is) - its about a system of oppression created by, maintained, and still benefitting white folk. It is still going on today through everyday acts & thoughts rooted in white superiority. People are killed beceause of white supremacy, children are locked up because of white supremacy. White supremacy also keeps most white folks infantalized. It is inherently harmful to the World. You do not oppress another, without also oppressing your own humanity. Time to be adults & do the work. Become conscious. Don't try to erase race.
Christina The Invisible Man is about being disenfranchised, I think all people can relate to that. To answer your questions more specifically, I think white people can learn more from the book. I believe that the majority of black people must know what it feels like to be disenfranchised, but not all white people do.
Robert Brooks Both have a stake in it...Impact denotes a collision between objects...Those
people Mr. Ellison so detail are just examples...I imagine, when he wrote it in the early 50's it was a savage scream from the dark...LOOK AT ME. I AM A MAN...LOOK AT YOURSELF; YOU ARE TOO. CAN WE AT LEAST LOOK AT EACH OTHER? To use race in description of it is to use eighth notes to describe a symphony. It transcends race.
Clayton I think people of any minority or oppressed group could certainly sympathize with the narrator's struggles, however the book itself is highly relevant for people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. As a Caucasian, mixed heritage Canadian, I was most impacted by the mob mentality and mass chaos often present in the narrator's journey. In our age of mass, ever present media, the power of subtle and overt messages to move crowds and create violence or peaceful protest can not be understated. There are many important lessons from this story on how the emotional, often irrational actions of the mob can shape our social and political landscapes.
Justa Both. There are equally ignorant bigots on both sides of the fence. There are so many people in this country that none two are exactly alike; what's horrible for one isn't horrible for the other. These things have nothing to do with race, they have to do with education and not misinformation. So, the issue isn't "who it's more relevant to to read it," but, who "cares" to actually read it.
Whitney omg. WHITE PEOPLE!!!!! we (black people) know already...
Karen Koppy Everyone should appreciate this book. It's one of the best books I've ever read. White people especially will learn an immense amount about systemic injustice. It's sad to say that so much of this book is still representative of the racial disparities that exist is our country.
Robert I would have to answer by saying if you have to ask that question you'll never understand the answer.
Scott Bordelon I like to think I'm somewhat progressive and aware of the marginalized, but I still had some eye-opening aha moments while reading this book, particularly with regard to race relations in America.
Linda Heller This book is about black and white interaction and how badly black people where treated before the Civil Rights Movement.
Image for Invisible Man
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more