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The Black Ball
Transcript of The Black Ball
Point of View
First Person Narrator: John
by Ralph Ellison
The white man with the burned hands talks to John about the African American unions.
John's son goes outside to play with his ball.
John's boss yells at them.
The Story of the Hands
Defended an African American who was falsely accused of raping a white women.
A white boy throws John's son's ball through a window.
Says that if he ever sees John's son out front again, John would find himself behind the black ball.
(1914 - 1994)
Born in Oklahoma City
1936: Met Richard Wright
1946: Married Fanny McConnell
The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison,
Flying Home and Other Stories,
Ellison, Ralph. "The Black Ball." American Short Stories. Ed. Carol Francis and Julie A. Schumacher. Logan: Perfection Learning Corporation, 2012. 343-352. Print
What John as a Narrator Adds
A new appreciation for the hardships of John's life
Anger toward whites
The symbolism behind the 'black ball'
The Black Ball
". . .you're going to find yourself behind the black ball"
The White Ball
"Daddy, that white man can't see very good, can he, Daddy . . . Anybody can see my ball is white."
It is bad to be behind the black ball (eight ball) in pool and in life
African Americans had to play a game, much like pool, to stay out of trouble
Represented who had the power and a good life
The ball is white because whites have all of the power
With the times changing, the color of the ball might change as well
Discrimination Between Caucasians and African Americans
John faces discrimination everyday
African Americans are begining to get the rights that they deserve
a new America is being formed
"Ralph Ellison." Library of Congress. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. <http://www.read.gov/fiction/ellison.html>.
"Richard Nathaniel Wright." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Nov 03 2013, 03:55 http://www.biography.com/people/richard-wright-9537751