Books: Black & Blue

INVISIBLE MAN (439 pp.)—Ralph Ellison—Random House ($3.50).

Like any other Negro kid growing up in the South, Boy got the idea very fast: white is right. But he was a serious youngster, and sometimes the useful rule of thumb became confusing. When, for instance, the local big shots gave him a scholarship to a Negro college, his faith in the white man soared. But at the stag smoker where the scholarship was awarded, the men he looked up to forced him to look on while a naked blonde did a lascivious dance, and the town's...