NE Oklahoma City's Metropolitan Library, MLK branch hosted two events today, http://www.ralphellisoncentennial.com/. Events have been held over the last year, include scholarly events, banquets and readings.
Ralph Ellison has been celebrated with various events, including but not limited to unveiling a stamp in his honor http://uspsstamps.tumblr.com/post/73513380079/we-are-delighted-to-announ...
Ralph Ellison, African American author of the celebrated book Invisible Man has been celebrated for about a year across the United States, and in Oklahoma City his birthplace.
Ellison, who began a wave of increased African American involvements in the 1960's in education, the arts and literature with this book speaks here in an Oklahoma Historical Society video. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LgC0zZ30kh8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Oklahoma Historical Society Ralph Ellison video.
Library of Congress on release of biography of Ralph Ellison <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ntOG3bJfGsk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Biography Reading this biography, or watching this introductory lecture from the Library of Congress provides a multi-dimensional impression of Ellison, that perhaps makes the above Oklahoma History Center video make more sense.
Ralph Ellison had only one published novel in his lifetime. That won one of the highest award in American publications, The National Book Award, http://www.nationalbook.org/ for fiction.
Ralph Ellison often spoke to the lack of demonstrated investment in American novels and by American novelists in the subjects of current events and relationships of the public to them. Ralph Ellison was personally socially faced with issues of cultural nationalism, white culture versus other forms of black culture, political ideologies, black nationalism, emergence from restricted ignorance of highly rural settings into industrialized and progressive or information heavy settings, evolution of peoples, questions who are exemplars of culture, what makes life accessible and interesting in conversation or in reads. Ralph Ellison also used these vehicles in his writings. ( this list is derived from the biographer's talk above). The biographer above noted Ellison to be of volcanic energy with an aspect of perfection, which having hit such a high level of performance early on, he appeared to struggle with rolling in and out of success, basically maintaining that single note of "Olympic" achievement in a novel, never to be duplicated. ( Arnold Rampersad) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Rampersad ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9977702)
The Oklahoma Historic Society video identifies Ralph Ellison's interview where he describes that the men who worked on rail cars ( Pullman Porters) had seen, experienced and could often first report changes in America. These reports included highlights, cautions and comparatives between cities and regions, and directives for the general public they came into contact with. Oklahoma Historical Society video. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LgC0zZ30kh8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Oklahoma Historical Society Ralph Ellison video.
Ralph Ellison found, and repeatedly commented this kind of thinking or exchange of information was lacking in the imaginations of American novelists and writers in American who were his peers in general. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10388
Oklahoma is rich in Black History for many reasons, and Ralph Ellison's Centennial Celebration has been a wonderful opportunity to revisit his works and extensive contributions to development of American culture.
Here are a couple of other videos that also take a look at Ralph Ellison in and out of his own times.
John Lyons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_nZnPor4dg
Ralph Ellison, end of Black History essential writer. Birthday, Library of Congress <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/C9Ehfqnt4KI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>