Ralph Ellison Biography | Author of Juneteenth

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Ralph Waldo Ellison, a twentieth-century African American writer and scholar, is one of America's most powerful and notable voices into the history of black America. A productive writer of essays and criticism, Ellison only wrote two novels during his lifetime, Invisible Man and the posthumously published Juneteenth. Although not prolific in the world of fiction, Ellison's writing changed the way Americans thought about race, politics, religion and culture through his essays and teachings.

Ellison was born into segregation on March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His father died only three years later, leaving his mother alone to raise their poverty stricken family. In 1933, Ellison attended Tuskegee Institute with the intentions to pursue a career in music. However, studying modern literature piqued his interested in writing. After leaving Tuskegee Institute in 1936, Ellison moved to New York City, where he met the author Richard Wright. From this friendship, Ellison was inspired...

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This section contains 550 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Juneteenth Study Guide
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Juneteenth from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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