Black Boy Essay

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, White people, Black people Pages: 4 (1381 words) Published: October 30, 2013
Through his fictionalized autobiography Black Boy, Richard Wright narrates the experiences which forced him to evolve in the world of violent racism and ethnic plights during the 1920’s. Growing up as a black boy in the Jim Crow South, Richard was confronted with countless race related issues where he was obligated to defend himself and understand his place in society. The ethnic background which the Wright family provided for Richard was aggressive, unsupportive, and often impacted him in an unsettling way. Due to the progression of his unstable education programs and problematic employment opportunities, Richard was required to develop his knowledge of racism through his experiences and frequent transgressions. In his life, the role of racial distinctions and ethnic education had the most influence on the development of his identity from childhood into adulthood. Richard’s nascent identity as a writer evolved through his curiosity in the issues caused by racial discriminations in the South. Instead of being submissive to the limited educational opportunities, racial boundaries, and aggressive community, Richard used these conflicts to fuel his ambitions and prospects as a writer to transform his identity. A day in the life of Richard Wright consisted of multiple beatings, social struggles, and hunger due to the poverty his family endured. Richard’s interactions with his family were cold and aggressive, eventually leaving him completely isolated by his community. Richard explains how he “began to be aware of myself as a distinct personality striving against others. I held myself in, afraid to act or speak until I was sure of my surroundings, feeling most of the time that I was suspended over a void” (30). The emptiness that Richard depicted in this passage stays with him throughout his time in the South, and leaves him puzzled as to why his opinions were seemingly nothing like others. Wright was unable to understand the racial gap between white people and black...
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