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.
“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.
Throughout Hughes’ Not Without Laughter, we see the long-term effect of generations of prejudice and abuse against blacks. Over time, this prejudice manifested itself through the development of several social classes within the black community. Hughes’, through the eyes of young Sandy, shows us how the color of one’s skin, the church they attend, the level of education an individual attained, and the type of employment someone could find impacted their standing within the community and dictated the social class they belonged to. Tragically, decades of slavery and abuse resulted in a class system within the black community that was not built around seeking happiness or fulfillment but, equality through gaining the approval of whites.
I was late for school, and my father had to walk me in to class so that my teacher would know the reason for my tardiness. My dad opened the door to my classroom, and there was a hush of silence. Everyone's eyes were fixed on my father and me. He told the teacher why I was late, gave me a kiss goodbye and left for work. As I sat down at my seat, all of my so-called friends called me names and teased me. The students teased me not because I was late, but because my father was black. They were too young to understand. All of this time, they thought that I was white, because I had fare skin like them, therefore I had to be white. Growing up having a white mother and a black father was tough. To some people, being black and white is a contradiction in itself. People thought that I had to be one or the other, but not both. I thought that I was fine the way I was. But like myself, Shelby Steele was stuck in between two opposite forces of his double bind. He was black and middle class, both having significant roles in his life. "Race, he insisted, blurred class distinctions among blacks. If you were black, you were just black and that was that" (Steele 211).
In Black Boy, Richard can no longer sit back and allow the injustices. He like Luther is a go getter; he takes action and doesn’t just wait. When it comes time for Richard to read his Valedictorian speech the principal demands him to read the one she wrote. She wants him to read hers because there were going to be whites in the audience. Richard refuses, and the principal threatens to not allow him to graduate. To Richard the principal is shallow for trying to make him read a different speech just because a white would be in the audience. Richard is not the kind to sit back and allow his life to be affected just because a white person is in the room. Richard decides he must leave. Richard cannot stand to live in the south where he is constantly looking behind his back for problems. He doesn’t respect his family who continues to allow segregation to happen to them and they do nothing about it. His Uncle Tom scolds his cousin to stay away from Richard because he is “no good.” Uncle Tom is shallow because he just accepts the white man’s opinion of blackness and lives up to it, nothing else. Richard, like king, is going to act like himself, not what others believe he should be. This is a main contributor to why Richard is fired from so many jobs. He continually opens his mouth and spouts off to bosses. When told by Griggs he must “think before he acts, think before he speaks,” he attempts to do this
Richard “felt that [he] had been slapped out of the human race”(190) when he was oppressed by whites and there was nothing he could do about if he wanted to spare his life. These emotions allow Richard to realize that he must leave the South in order to become free of the abuse. Not only does Richard face mental abuse from whites, but also from his friends. Richard felt that “if [he] wanted to associate with [his friends] [he] would have to join” (151) the church. Richard realizes he can not be friends with his classmates if he does not share the same religious views as them. Therefore, there is the pressure that Richard must join the church in order to fit into society. Lastly, Richard experiences mental abuse when his mother was sick. Richard felt “the half-friendly world the [he] had known had turned cold and hostile” (86) allowing Richard to better understand the cruelty of the world. Although no one is to blame for the illness of Richard’s mother, Richard was abused because he now has to think of what he will do without his mother who was the rock in his life. Each of these incidents challenged Richard in a different way, but they all molded him into a stronger
“Along with other black children in small Southern villages, I had accepted the total polarization of the races as a psychological comfort. Whites existed, as no one denied, but they were n...
The novel “The Autobiography of an ex-colored man,” by James Johnson presents a major social issue of racial categorization that is present in today’s society. From a selected passage in the novel, the narrator is in Macon, Georgia seeking to depart to New York. During this time, the narrator is explaining his contemplation about which race, white or black, he will classify himself as for the rest of his life. Through his experiences, he is pushed away from classifying himself as a black male. This passage connects to the general scope of the novel as the narrator is continuously combating his racial position in society, as he is an individual of mixed races. Johnson’s language, use of imagery and metaphor, and emphasis on categorization portrays
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.
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