Black Writers of the 20th Century

987 Words4 Pages
Literature has played an important role in society throughout history, the written word being a powerful tool in communicating ideas. This became even more important during the 20th century, when many people were trying to persuade others or share their emotions and histories. The black movements in the United States made use of this tool, many authors coming out and becoming part of the fabric of society. Three authors in particular, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright became some of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century, owing to their own history and life experiences to give life and meaning to their works. Ralph Ellison is one of the more influential writers of the early 20th century in North America. Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on 1 March 1914. According to Liukkonen of Finland, Ellison was named after the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet. Ellison's father hoped that by having a great name, his son would also go on to achieve greatness. After graduating from school in a relatively non-racial environment, Ellison went on to study music at the Tuskagee Institute in Alabama in the mid-1930's. Unsatisfied with the music program (they felt that jazz, Ellison's favorite form, was primitive) he went on to New York City to study sculpting. It was there that he met Langston Hughes and Richard Wright, who convinced him to join the Federal Writer's Project, a project that encouraged the production of quality literature from all walks of life across the country. The influence of the other two important writers would propel Ellison into a life of rich literature. Of the three authors, Richard Wright is one of the more obscure, though still very important to the world of literature. Born ... ... middle of paper ... ...themselves, or simply escape the monotony of their day-to-day lives. Works Cited Petri Liukkonen. Ralph (Waldo) Ellison (1914-1994). Author's Calendar. Finland. 2008. Internet. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/rellison.htm. Accessed 21June2011. Carl Brucker. Ralph Ellison 1914-1994. Survery of American Literature. 1992. Internet http://faculty.atu.edu/cbrucker/Ellison.html. Accessed 21June2011. “Langston Hughes”. Academy of American Poets. 2011. Internet. http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/83. Accessed 21June2011. Snally Gaster. “Richard Wright Biography”. Buffalo University. Internet. http://www.math.buffalo.edu/~sww/wright/wright_bio.html. Accessed 21June2011. Caroline Sanchez. Richard Wright, 1908-1960. University of North Carolina. Internet. http://www.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/allam/1914-/lit/wright.htm. Accessed 21June2011.
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