Black Boy Essay
In the 1900's many conflicts resulted between Caucasians and African Americans. Many of the conflicts were a result of racial tension between the two groups of people. Both the African Americans and the Caucasians attitudes towards each other caused tension between the two groups. Richard's attitude as well as the racial tension during the 1900's caused him many conflicts throughout his life Throughout the story Richard’s attitude towards the whites changed. in the beginning Richard didn’t see the whites as being very different from the blacks. He also didn’t see how his grandmother could be called “white”, but not be considered white. Richards attitude toward the whites didn’t start to change until the day he started working for the white man and his son at the clothing store. While working at the store one day Richard saw the boss and his son drive up in there car with a frightened black woman who sat between them. The boss and his son drug and kicked at the woman to get her into the store so that they could beat her. After being beaten the woman came out of the store bleeding, crying, stumbling, and holding her stomach. When the woman got to the sidewalk she was immediately grabbed and accused of being drunk. When Richard went back into the store his boss and his son were washing there hands at the sink, and cleaning the blood, wisps of hair, and bits of clothing from the floor. When they looked at Richard they saw that he was shocked. The boss slapped him on the back and said “Boy, that’s what we do to niggers when they don’t pay their bills.” (180) Richards view of the whites started to changed when he not only witnessed the misbehavior of the whites but when he himself experienced it. Richards experience happened when he was sent by his boss to deliver a package. On his way back to town his bicycle tire was punctured. So while Richard was walking back to town pushing his bicycle along a car full of white men pulled up beside him and asked him if he would like a ride back to town. Richard hopped on the running boards of the car and held onto the car with one hand and his bicycle in the other hand. While riding back to town Richard was asked if he would like a drink. Richard immediately thought of his six years old drinking habit and said “Oh, no!”. Before Richards knew what had happened he was laying on the ground. Richard had been hit between the eyes with an empty whiskey bottle and had fallen off the running boards of the car and had gotten tangled in his bicycle. After Richard had fallen off the car the white men stopped the car and were ready to beat him before one of the men said that he had had enough. Richard had been hit for not saying sir to the white men. Before they left Richard was told “Nigger, you sure ought to be glad it was us you talked to that way. You’re a lucky bastard, ‘cause if you’d said that to some other white man, you might’ve been a dead nigger now.” (181). Richards attitude towards the whites not only caused him to beaten up but it also affected his ability to hold a job with the white men. Richard would often find himself searching for a new job because he would either have problems with the other white employees or he would get fired by the boss for thinking that he was better than or equal to the whites. “You act around white people as if you don’t know that they were white. And they see it.” (184) These experiences caused Richard to become more aware of what was said or even what wasn’t said by the white men, and how he had to watch their every move and expression. Richard not only had a difficult time learning to deal with the whites and how they treated him but he also had a difficult time learning to deal with his own family and their attitude towards him. Throughout Richards life he and his family lived in many places from being in there own house to living with their grandmother to living with his aunt and uncle. Many of the problems that Richard had come across...
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