“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. Like the bodiless heads you sometimes see in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination - indeed, everything and anything except me. Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a biochemical accident to my epidermis. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come into contact. A matter of construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical bodies upon reality.” —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
These are the images and accounts of how people worked, raised families, built communities, worshiped, maintained relationships, expressed themselves and coped with changes and challenges in the past. Most of the subjects are Americans of African descent.
"Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go." — James Baldwin