Teacher Guide

Invisible Man Lesson Plan

About the Author

Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. Named after the American transcendentalist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ellison was raised by his mother, Ida Milsap Emerson (his father died when he was three years old). He began playing the trumpet at the age of eight and worked various jobs as an adolescent before going to study music at the Tuskegee Institute when he was nineteen; after three years, he moved to New York City intending to study sculpture. He made friends with the writer Richard Wright in New York, and his career began to turn towards writing. In 1937, after his mother died, he published his first book review; the next year, he joined the Federal Writers...

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