Black Boy (American Hunger) Review
The “Black Boy” book by Richard Wright explains both the evident and dangerous effects of racial discrimination in the Southern United States during 1920s. By reading this book, readers can clearly learn about horrible ways African Americans were treated by whites, how only limited employment and educational opportunities were available for them and Christianity role played in black’s life.
In chapter one, Richard learns to hate at the very early age when his father leaves family for another woman.
Richard Wright was a novelist who wrote about being black in American. He used his writings as a form of advertisement to civilize communism. Being that he was born into slavery he experienced oppression since birth. His first published novel was Uncle Tom’s Children and the book consisted of different short stories of racial oppression in the South such as lynching and the KKK. One of his most defining novels is Black Boy as he wrote about the cultural, political, racial, religion, and social issues of the late 19th century.
“Come ova here and do yo work boy!” “Did you address me with a sir boy?” This is something a racist white man or female might say to a young black boy in the South. How would one feel if they were treated differently just because of their race? Would it have immediate and long term effects on one’s life? The two statements above are examples of how people talk to their labeled inferiors. In this case, this pertains to the autobiographical book Black Boy, written by Richard Wright. This relates to racism in the deep South, and how it changes and affects a young African-American living through this tough time. Racism towards Richard had several long term effects. It caused him to think differently of people, to have a different view on life, and learn never to give up.
Americans were incarcerated during this time for acts of violence. Police officers would brutally beat those in involvement with the movement if they refused to go along with the social norm of the society and so on. Others were perhaps jumped by white men when the blacks came off as being ‘disrespectful” to their way of living. The acts of Civil Rights continued until Jim Crow laws were uplifted.
Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” depicts the different observations of the South and the North. In the South, Wright faces pre-depression and racism. In the North, Wright faces the conflicts from the Communist party. At the end of Black Boy, Wright quotes “What had I got out of living in the city? What had I got out of living in the South?”(Wright 452)
Within the autobiography Black Boy, written by Richard Wright, many proposals of hunger, pain, and tolerance are exemplified by Wright’s personal accounts as a child and also as an adolescent coming of manhood. Wright’s past emotions of aspirations along with a disgust towards racism defined his perspective towards equality along with liberal freedom; consequently, he progressed North, seeking a life filled with opportunity as well as a life not judged by authority, but a life led separately by perspective and choices.
Native Son by Richard Wright is a heartbreaking story of the racial oppression that spread throughout Chicago and America during the 1930s. Through the experiences of his black protagonist Bigger Thomas, Wright provides valuable insights into racial segregation and the tragic ways in which it affected American society. Throughout the novel, Wright insists that Bigger was not born an aggressive criminal. He is a product of the violence and racism. By no means does Wright minimize the oppression of blacks by whites, but he does demonstrate that much of the racial inequality was due to the lack of understanding, among both blacks and whites, of each other. Bigger’s story represents a key development in black American literature.
Over six million African Americans moved from the South to the North in aspiration of seeking a better life and a fresh start. Black Boy, by Richard Wright, is the story of a young black boy, Richard, that is piloting himself through the Jim Crow South. Richard grew up in a primarily black community with his mom, Ella, and his younger brother, Alan. When he is finally introduced to the white population he is surprised to see how the blacks and whites interact. Due to his skin color, Richard is treated unfairly which makes it harder for him to thrive. As Richard comes of age, he is left to support his family. With no help or advice from his father, Richard labors many jobs in hopes of obtaining enough money to move himself and his family to
Hunger in Black Boy
Have you ever experienced real hunger? The kinds of hungers that
Richard experiences in Black Boy are not evident in the society where you
and I reside. The present middle class citizens cannot really relate to
true physical hunger. Hunger for most of us is when there is nothing that
we desire to eat around the house and therefore skip one meal.
Richard Wright’s autobiographical sketch, The Ethics of Living Jim Crow was a glimpse into the life of a young black man learning to navigate the harsh and cruel realities of being black in America. Through each successive journey, he acquired essential life skills better equipping him to live in a society of inequality. Even though the Supreme Court, provided for the ideology of “separate but equal” in the 1896 case, Plessy v, Ferguson, there was no evidence of equality only separation (Annenberg, 2014).