The unnamed narrator in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison encounters Tod Clifton, a

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The unnamed narrator in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison encounters Tod Clifton, a Black former member of the Brotherhood, selling dancing Sambo dolls in Harlem. The narrator is upset at Clifton, and chastises his behavior, connecting it to the expected, normative, racist assumptions made of Black bodies by whiteness and power. Now, with the scene in mind, write in response to the following question: what contemporary form of entertainment generates and reinforces normative assumptions about Blackness, in the same way as the Sambo doll? In other words, if the Sambo doll is no longer an object that constructs racial identity through power, what is now the contemporary, 21st- century version of the Sambo doll? How does the entertainment you have selected construct identity through power using essentialism? You are welcome to extend your discussion beyond the social construction of Black identity to discuss any racial identity, so long as you keep focus on how power constructs identity through entertainment. Lastly, while you are not required to conduct research on the Sambo Doll outside the scene in the novel, you are encouraged to look into the historical significance of the doll.

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