AALBC .com Platinum Poster
Post Number: 90
|Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 09:52 am: |
Excerpt by: Dr. Karen A. Droisen
Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas --- Dept. of English
"Ellison graduated with honors from an all-black high school in Oklahoma City.
He went on to the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) on a music scholarship: Ellison was an accomplished trumpeter and hoped to become a jazz musician.
He was also a sculptor: in 1936, he went to New York City to study sculpting and to work as a musician to cover his college tuition costs. Ellison was interested in all the fine arts: throughout his life, he was an avid reader of contemporary literature, including the poetry of T. S. Eliot. He saw many interesting similarities between Eliot's writing and jazz music.
In 1937, Ellison's friend, the poet Langston Hughes, introduced Ellison to novelist Richard Wright (Native Son).
Wright encouraged Ellison to develop his considerable literary talent and Ellison began to publish short stories and literary reviews. He became editor of The Negro Quarterly in 1942.
Throughout the 1940's, Ellison often worked at odd jobs to supplement his income as a writer. He worked, variously, as a part-time musician, an installer of audio equipment, a builder of audio amplifiers, and a photographer.
Ellison published his best-known work, Invisible Man, in 1952."