Ralph Ellison


Feb. 21, 2005, midnight | By Danny Scheer | 15 years, 9 months ago


Photo: Ralph Ellison, writer and winner of the National Book Award in 1953 for "Invisible Man."

Published in the early 1950s, "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison chronicled the title character's struggle against black oppression in America and became one of the most significant novels in black American literature.

Born in 1914, Ellison studied classical music at Tuskegee University in an attempt to emulate his jazz musician role models. During a trip to New York City to earn money, however, Ellison met and was influenced by Richard Wright, a writer who would become another significant, black literary figure. Wright offered Ellison a job on the paper for which Wright was editing: "New Challenge." While working on the newspaper, Ellison learned about opportunities for social justice and decided to write for another left-wing newspaper known as "New Masses." Ellison published short stories in both papers that would later mirror the characters and themes in "Invisible Man."

"Invisible Man" was published at the beginning of the civil rights movement and provided American culture with not only a well-written novel, rich with literary and historical allusions, but also with a vehicle that clearly expressed the movement's beliefs. After the success of "Invisible Man," Ellison continued to write and publish essays on politics and religion and later taught at University of California at Los Angeles, Yale and New York University. In 1968, Lyndon Johnson awarded Ellison the Medal of Freedom, one of Ellison's many prestigious awards and accolades. Ellison died at the age of 80 on April 16, 1994.



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Danny Scheer. Danny Scheer. WHAT??????? YA YA YA YA YA!!!!!! Danny WUVS a lot. Especially poems. That begin with TRANSIBUNT!!!! LOL LOL LOL By the way, Danny likes movies and bands that begin with the letter "B" and "D" and "T" and "J" and "M" and "C" … More »

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