Today Jeff continues his ongoing conversation with Greg Thomas, an integral thinker who is pioneering a new way forward in race relations in the U.S. Greg advocates transcending the postmodern emphasis on racial identity in favor or embracing what is a broader American cultural identity, of which all Americans are an inextricable part.
Greg advances a rich lineage of Black intellectual thought that includes Albert Murray and Ralph Ellison. Today Greg and Jeff discuss Ellison’s famous essay, “The Little Man at Chehaw Station: The American Artist and His Audience”. The title character, the “little man,” stands in for any person of any station who wholeheartedly participates in the American culture.
As Ellison writes, “[The Little Man] demands that the relationship between his own condition and that of the more highly placed be recognized. He senses that American experience is of a whole, and he wants the interconnections revealed. And not out of a penchant for protest, nor out of petulant vanity, but because he sees his own condition as an Inseparable part of a larger truth in which the high and the lowly, the known and the unrecognized, the comic and a tragic, are woven into the Americans skein.”