A few of Ellison's short stories from the 1940s and 1950s were widely anthologized over the years. After a while, it became generally known that he was at work on another novel. Though he remained aware ever afterward of the authority 'Invisible Man' gave to him, no second novel followed his brilliant debut in 1952.
Baldwin gave expression to the longings of blacks in exalted prose. He was embraced, in the tradition of Negro Firsterism, even by those who never sat down with a book, as our preeminent literary spokesman, whether he liked it or not. Neither athlete nor entertainer, but nevertheless a star.