Ralph Ellison By Kayla Sedbrook
His Life • Born: Oklahoma • Aspired for a career in Jazz Music • Moved to New York & became a writer
Relations to W.E.B. Dubious and Invisible Man • Ellison excelled in High School, therefore, in order to discourage him from attending their schools, he was given a scholarship to Tuskegee Institute. This is also similar to IM’s situation. However, Ellison felt as the institution was progressive. However, he was unable to stay there because of lack of funds.
Ellison’s Other Works • Shadow and Act • not as insightful to Ellison as Invisible Man because it was one of his earlier works and portrayed much of Richard Wright, who greatly influenced his writing
Ellison’s Other Works • Going to the Territory • portrays Ellison as a philosopher believing in a culturally pluralistic society, not an integration of the races. Show his the mature Ellison • However, both Going to the Territory and Shadow and Act helped transform people’s way of thinking. Invisible Man is seen as the most insightful, though.
Problems • Ellison thought it was problematic that many authors at the time wrote literature about black people targeted towards white people. The problem with this was it made people question how human blacks really were. Therefore, he wanted to target his literature at black people as well.
Bringing Change • Ellison is seen as an author who brought change to African American Literature because of his targeting his literature towards them too. Also, he wrote the truth- the way things were that many people were not willing to accept as true. IM represented the invisibility that black people felt everyday, all the time. His literature began to make them visible.
Ellison’s view on Black and White Culture • “America did offer a context for discovering authentic personal identity; it also created a space for African-Americans to invent their own culture. And in Ellison's view, black and white culture were inextricably linked, with almost every facet of American life influenced and impacted by the African-American presence -- including music, language, folk mythology, clothing styles and sports. Moreover, he felt that the task of the writer is to ‘tell us about the unity of American experience beyond all considerations of class, of race, of religion.’” • This shows how Ellison was before his time
Quote By Ralph Ellison • No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am i one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids-and I might even be said to posses a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass.When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination-indeed, everything and anything except me.