Ralph Waldo Ellison was born on March 1, 1913, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and named after Ralph Waldo Emerson. After attending Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, the prestigious all-black university founded by Booker T. Washington, he moved to New York City, where he became involved with the Communist Party and wrote for numerous journals and newspapers. In 1953, he published his first novel, Invisible Man, a popular and critical success that would go on to win the National Book Award. Invisible Man would be the only novel published in his lifetime, though two essay collections would follow: Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986). After his death in 1994, an edited version of his unpublished second novel was released as Juneteenth in 1999.