5 Best Quotes By Ralph Ellison

5 Best Quotes By Ralph Ellison

When I discover who I am, I'll be free.

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Trained as a Jazz Musician at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama at the height of the Jim Crow Era in the South, Ellison's musical aspirations soon transformed into a sensibility more literary in nature when he became exposed to T.S. Eliot's renowned poem "The Wasteland". Publishing his first novel in 1952 titled "Invisible Man" which won The National Book Awards and placed 19th on the Modern Library out of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, much like his poetic inspiration, Ellison has become a figure of timeless renown in his own right. Along with Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin, he was one of few writers to emerge in his timeframe who explored the perseverance of racism in America, and how it, to this day, hinders African-Americans from achieving a veritable sense of identity in the United States.

1. "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

Much of who we are, and what we are is predicated on how people see us. If nothing is how they see us, then there's no what, and there's no who, because to them, we are nothing. Not even human, the only thing worthy of human consideration.

2. "Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat."

In life as we live through it, we will come to know much sadness, loss, and defeat. However, of all that withers and crumbles into dust, what is never forgotten is the honour, love, and courage we are capable of exhibiting in an effort to seize that one slim moment of triumph. A triumph that washes away the despair of defeat, loss, and sadness, and ignites anew, a courage, love, and honour that have been our meaning and glory, and of meanings and glories past.

3. "I was never more hated when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I've tried to articulate exactly what I felt about truth. No one was satisfied."

No matter how you how live, even, or perhaps especially if its honest, you will never be able to impress everybody.

4. "When I discover who I am, I'll be free."

True liberation is not achieved by the size of our bank account, the car we own, and how we are regarded by our peers. It comes from knowing who we are. That's it. Always has been, always will be.

5. "I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for once having been ashamed.

Part of who we are is derived from where we come from, and from where we all come and then go home to, is family. Love it, or hate it, we don't get to chose our family, but we get to chose how it influences what we do, and what we become.

Though we are nowhere as close to discovering who we are as people as those that lived in Ralph Ellison's time, his words remain. To usher us along, even as we seek to usher in a new honor, love, and courage in colors yet unseen, but still very much remain an act of courage, honor, and love seen many times even as we are seen in them.

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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10 Easy Ways To Help Save The Environment Other Than Recycling

Saving our environment now will help us in the future!

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Humans have already destroyed a lot of this planet. We've cut down trees, hunted species into extinction, and polluted our waters. A lot of the destruction was done when we didn't know that it was affecting our planet. Now that we do see the results, we need to save our planet. Here are a few ways we can do that.

1. Buy eggs in cardboard, not plastic.

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2. Walk or Carpool to your destination.

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3. Reduce paper usage.

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4. Bring your own bags to the grocery store.

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5. Buy locally.

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6. Learn to eat leftovers.

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7. Wear more layers inside instead of turning up the heat.

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8. Use refillable water bottles.

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9. Don't leave the faucet running when you're brushing your teeth or shaving.

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10. Keep your thermostat around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Just doing these small 10 things can help our environment in the long run.

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