White Supremacism In Battle Royal, By Ralph Ellison

715 Words2 Pages

Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” is an eye opening story. Ellison introduces us to a black nameless citizen. All the nameless citizen wants is to be acknowledged and to please the white men, which is strange given the white common men are forcing him to brutally fight his black peers. Ellison’s story is focusing on the ignorance of African Americans due to the constant deception of the white supremacist. (Ellison) Being African American has never been easy. At birth, we are born with a target on our backs for simply being a different color and whites are born privileged. One would think that when slavery was abolished that the target would be removed but that isn’t so. King states in his article that “…white supremacy saturated public culture...” …show more content…

They say things in the young men’s ears like, “I want you to run across at the bell and give it to him right in the belly. If you don’t get him, I’m going to get you. I don’t like his looks” (229). The men are repeatedly called “nigger” instead of by their actual names. They are turned against their own kind. The nameless character makes it to the last of the battle royal. He keeps trying to bargain with his opponent to let him win and he’d pay him. But the man had it in his mind that he wasn’t fighting for the guest of the evening but for himself. This is so untrue. He wouldn’t have even been there had he not been forced to attend and perform. Nothing could represent black ignorance more than the train of thought of these two men. The nameless black citizen just wants to look good in front of the men that put him in the ring and his opponent really believes he’s in control of what’s going on. Its baffling that the nameless black man still whole heartedly wants to give his speech. He wants to be accepted by them. Samuels writes in his article " He’d rather recite words like a parrot to a group of people who don’t give a damn about him and truly couldn’t care less about anything he has to do than to fight the war that his grandfather spoke about. The white supremacist has control over his mind, the other fighters mind, and the minds of African Americans as a

Open Document