Black Boy By Richard Wright

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Black Boy by Richard Wright and Separate Pasts: Growing up White in the Segregated South by Melton McLaurin are autobiographies based on segregation in the south in the early twentieth century. They are set in different times and different perspectives. Black Boy begins when the main character, Richard Wright, is four years old in the 1910’s. He grows up in Jackson Mississippi and moves north later in his life. In Separate Pasts the author is white and grows up in Wade, North Carolina in the 1950’s. Black Boy revolves around the experiences of Richard Wright as he grows in an extremely segregated city. Both blacks and whites accept the way things are. The more Wright grows up, the more he despises the way life is for Blacks in the south. When he because a teenager, his main goal is to find a job to move north and create a better life for himself. Separate Pasts are based on the city where McLaurin grew up and the people he remembers form there. The people in his life changed the way he viewed segregation and blacks. He met some black people who really made an impact in his life. The way the authors grew up affected how they viewed blacks and society altogether. Their experiences are very important roles to explain the comparisons and differences of the society around them. In both autobiographies segregation plays a big role in their culture. In Black Boy, African Americans are isolated and treated as less than humans, where in Separate Pasts, they are more integrated and accepted among whites. Throughout his life, Richard Wright was treaded with no respect, isolated, and looked down upon. He grew up confused because he did not understand why he would always be punished and considered immoral. When he was a child Wright had to g... ... middle of paper ... ...em…”(McLaurin 24) Everything McLaurin described he did for and with the black people would be unheard of in Jackson where Wright grew up. McLaurin was very accepting of them. Richard Wright and Melton McLaurin both grew up in the South, but their experiences were drastically different. Wright was treated awful throughout his entire childhood, teen years, and adult years because he was black. He was attacked, harassed, fired and forced to leave jobs because of the way society treated blacks. McLaurin was white and grew up around black. He viewed the way they were treated, but to him it was normal to see blacks the way every other white saw them. It was not until later that he realized that what segregation did to blacks. In his autobiography, he explains how black were the ones that helped him open his eyes to how the South was the reason why black were uneducated.

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