Through out time, there have been many outstanding authors who have significantly influenced the world of literature. Each of them displayed a unique style and a certain literary charisma that kept readers spellbound. Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Terry McMillan, and Maya Angelou are just a few of the many talented authors that have gained popularity through literature. However, one name stands far above the rest. Although many think of his literary career as short-lived, Ralph Ellison definitely left his mark on the world of literature and in my opinion had the most immense impact on the art itself.
Ralph Waldo Ellison was born on March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City, OK. His father, Lewis Alfred Ellison, worked as a construction foreman, while his mother Ida Millsap Ellison served as a housewife. He lived a normal life for a Negro at that time. He attended a small segregated school for blacks and like others endured the many struggles of African Americans due to racism. Although a contemporary recalled that the Ellison's were "among the poorest" in Oklahoma City, Ralph still had the mobility to go to a good school, and the motivation to find mentors, both black and white, from among the most accomplished people in the city. Ellison would later say that as a child he observed that there were two kinds of people, those "who wore their everyday clothes on Sunday, and those who wore their Sunday clothes every day. I wanted to wear Sunday clothes every day." Only three years after his birth, Ellison's father passed away. Because of this, his mother was forced to work as a nursemaid, janitress, and domestic in order to take care of herself as well as her two boys. At the age of six, Ralph began to attend Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Oklahoma City. .
Ellison was very bright student and his quest for knowledge was never-ending. .
There he started reading at a rapid pace and frequently visited the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Library.