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Flying Home a Living Story Ralph Waldo Ellison is perhaps one of the most influential African-American writers of the twentieth century Ellison is best known for writing about such topics as self-awareness identity and the racial repression of African-Americans in the United States His masterpiece Invisible Man chronicles the story of a young man striving to find himself in a world where he is hardly noticed This novel won him much respect in the eyes of the literary community Earlier in his career Ellison also wrote many influential short stories Flying Home is one of Ellisons stories that call the attention of all concerned with the basic essence of human freedom In Flying Home Ellison creates a provocative statement about the Black situation in the south in the 1940s that is rich with symbolism and personal experience Born on March 1 1914 in Oklahoma Ellison was raised in an environment that promoted self-fulfillment His father who named his son after Ralph Waldo Emerson and hoped to raise him as a poet died when Ellison was three Ellisons mother enlisted blacks into the Socialist Party and was also a domestic worker In the early 1930s Ellison won a scholarship to Alabamas Tuskegee Institute where he studied music until 1936Busby 10 Later to earn money for his education after a mix-up regarding his scholarship he traveled to New York where he met Richard Wright and became involved in the Federal Writers Project Encouraged to write a review for New Challenge a publication edited by Wright Ellison began composing essays and stories focusing on the strength of the human spirit and the necessity of racial pride It was during this time that Ellison composed Flying Home Flying Home is the story of a young man who is one of a very small number of African-American pilots in World War II The story begins as the young man named Todd crashes his trainer plane into a
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