1. Lift thy self up? Psh. Preached by Dr. Bledsoe, the Invisible Man blindly follows the words of Booker T. Washington, that blacks must cooperate and follow the expectations of whites in order to be successful. This narrow-minded way of thinking does not allow black people to follow and forge their own path. According to Washington's philosophy, they must change themselves in order to be accepted by the white community. They must change their attitudes and their identity in order to be seen as equal as the white community. However, this kind of politics -- respectability politics -- does not change anything. It only forces people to conform to the status quo, and does nothing to change the racist attitudes of white society. 2. We don't need your white Jesus. The Narrator spends the day driving around Mr. Norton, a trustee of the college. Mr. Norton claims to be a friend of the blacks, espousing himself as a white savior to young black students. However, Mr. Norton’s belief of being a white savior is detrimental because it sends the idea that people of color need a white hero in order to be saved. It sends the idea that people of color are incompetent and cannot save themselves and that is through the goodness and compassion of white people that people of color can truly succeed. 3. Bledsoe needs some of that #BlackIsBeautiful movement. Mr. Bledsoe, the black president of a black college, is one of the only few black men who is not afraid to touch a white man. He achieves this by a constant behavior of pandering and obedience to a white man. Because of his success, Mr. Bledsoe easily influences the young black students that to be successful means constantly acting servile to the white man. This internalized racism only feeds Mr. Bledsoe’s ambition and power where he would rather hang up every black man before giving up his power. His internal hatred only makes him racist towards his own people. 4. Pass the biscuits, hold the toast. When eating at a diner during his first few months of his journey in Harlem, the Invisible Man refuses to eat a Southern classic of pork chops, grits, biscuits, and coffee. Instead he takes a simple breakfast of toast and orange juice, denying himself from eating a breakfast that comes from his culture. The Invisible Man does not want to seem like a typical black man by eating a Southern breakfast; he wants to become more “socially acceptable” for the white community. For him, in order to be respected and get anywhere in society, he must act like a white man. 5. Ignorance is bliss? During his time in Harlem, the Narrator stays with Mary Rambo, a kind woman who acts as a mother figure to various members of the community. He chances upon Mary Rambo’s racist coin bank, a caricature of a black man. The Narrator is enraged by Mary’s object, but is not directly angry at Mary Rambo herself. He can’t be mad at her because Mary never received a proper education. An old black woman, Mary Rambo was most likely from the last few years of slavery where obeying white people as masters were the norm. A lack of education led Mary Rambo to become ignorant of the implications that the coin bank carries with it. WE ARE NOT THINGS. After delivering a powerful speech to an enraptured audience, the Brotherhood is disdainful of the Invisible Man’s improv. His original speech was supposed to convey the Brotherhood’s message, but instead, the Invisible Man’s speech channeled a deeper emotion amongst the audience. The Invisible Man realizes he wasn’t recruited for his depth or his oratory skills, instead, for his image. He’s objectified as solely a black man who could be an image for the organization, disabling him from making any accomplishments. 6. Ouchie. Racism once again hinders the Invisible Man through the use of electroshock therapy. Electroshock therapy was still experimental at the time, but after the explosion in the boiler room, doctors decide to use the new treatment to treat the Invisible Man. The doctors remark that had the Invisible Man was a white “New Englander with a Harvard background”, they wouldn’t use the harming form of therapy on him. Because of the color of his skin, the Invisible Man is tested on. The therapy sets the Invisible Man’s success back because he gets amnesia and must spend time recuperating and getting his memory back. 7. BLACK LIVES MATTER. I CAN'T BREATHE. HANDS UP, DON'T SHOOT. An unarmed black man getting killed by a policeman seems like a headline in America 2016, but when it happens to Brother Tod Clifton, it’s disarming. One of the few members of the Brotherhood who truly tries to do good for the organization, Tod’s death sends shockwaves in the community. The Narrator’s eulogy incites the black community in Harlem to revolt against police brutality. A sad affair, Tod Clifton’s death however starts to starts a conversation amongst the black community -- one of the few positive events to come out of it. 8. What's good, @racists? When the Narrator manages to seduce Sybil, a supposed higher-up in the Brotherhood, Sybil projects her desires to the Narrator, believing him to be a stereotypical black brute who rapes women. The Narrator is not one and is disgusted by Sybil’s desire of getting raped, translated into her desire of power. Once again this stereotype of a black man hinders the Narrator’s progression. Sybil does not see the Narrator as an individual, but rather a caricature of a power symbol that she desires to be. 9. I am everything and nothing. Much of the novel deals with the forging of an identity against a racial background. The Invisible Man finds it difficult to create boundaries of an identity for himself because white America refuses to give him unique characteristics. For them, a black man is the same as any black man. White America refuse to see the Invisible Man as a multi-dimensional individual. Because of this, the Invisible Man struggles to define who he really is. Should he be an obedient black man like what society expects him to be, or should he be his own person? Should he be a black rapist like what Sybil perceives him to be, or should he not conform to the stereotype? It is these expectations that cause the Invisible Man to become invisible.