The theme of Richard Wright's "Black Boy" is racism because he became a black boy for the sole purpose of survival, to make enough money, stop the hunger pains, and to eventually move to the North where he could be himself. Wright grew up in the deep dirty South; the Jim Crow South of the early twentieth century. From an early age Richard Wright was aware of two races, the black and the white. Yet he never understood the relations between the two races. The fact that he didn't understand but was always trying to got him into trouble many times. When in Memphis, Wright reluctantly assumed the role society dictated for him, the role of a black boy.
As an innocent child Wright sees no difference between the blacks and the whites. Despite he is aware of the existence of a difference. "My grandmother who was as white as any white person, had never looked white to me."(Pg. 31) This statement shows his confusion about blacks and whites. As a child Wright heard of a white man beating a black boy and believed that the white man was allowed to beat the black child. Wright did not think that whites had the right to beat blacks because of their race. Instead he assumed that the white man was the black boy's father. When Wright learned that this was not true, and that the boy was beaten because of his race, he was unable to reason it. Even as he got older he didn't see the color of people. In one instance Richard and a friend are standing outside a shop when some white people pass by, Richard doesn't move to accommodate the white people because he simple didn't notice that they were white.
As a child, Wright ultimately learned to fear white people. However, he still did not understand the social differences between the races. White people killed Richard's uncle; and his aunt and another uncle were forced to flee from the whites. When Wright asks his mother about these incidents she tells him, "You keep your mouth shut or the white folks will get you too." As a teenager...
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