by Ralph Ellison
Brother Tod Clifton Timeline and Summary
- Clifton arrives late to a Brotherhood meeting. He has a cut on his face and says that he had a scuffle with Ras the Exhorter.
- Clifton supports the narrator's idea of strengthening the fight against evictions in Harlem.
- Ras's men crash the Brotherhood's first street speech. Clifton gets in a fight with Ras and is almost stabbed by his knife.
- Clifton hears Ras call him a slave to the white enslavers of the Brotherhood, calling him a traitor to the black community. Clifton responds with his fists.
- Clifton doesn't recognize someone who's in the Brotherhood and gets in a fight with him.
- Clifton goes missing for weeks.
- Clifton stands on the street corner peddling a paper Sambo doll that he puppeteers with an invisible string. He claims that the doll will bring joy to people's lives.
- Clifton runs around the corner when the police arrive. He continues to stay one step ahead of them until he throws a series of punches.
- Clifton is shot by a police officer. He falls forward, bleeding on the ground for the public to see.
- The narrator holds a public funeral for Clifton that attracts black supporters from all of Harlem.