Richard Wright 's ' Our History Is Far Stranger Than You Suspect, And We Are Not What We

Richard Wright 's ' Our History Is Far Stranger Than You Suspect, And We Are Not What We

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Richard Wright once stated, “… our history is far stranger than you suspect, and we are not what we seem.” Regarded as one of the most gifted contemporary African American writers Wright delved into exposing the reality of Black lives in American. Through his brilliant poetic writing and sentimentally graphic images, Wright developed a stunningly accurate story, 12 Million Black Voices. His work consists of a great scope, all in attempt to uncover a significant part of the nations history. Wright accompanies his text with many images from the Depression era that were taken by the Farm Security Administration. By doing so, Wright efforts to thoroughly represent the harsh conditions forced upon Black workers during that period becomes nothing but successful. Wright describes how Black
lives were caught in a battle between the North and the South; Black individuals faced insensitive acts in the North and also dealt with racist Jim Crow laws in the South. Regardless of location, Black lives were severely oppressed and negatively impacted, fundamentally they did not have a chance for normalcy in their lives. 12 Million Black Voices is an American documentary which utilizes the use of photography to ignite the notion of post memory, all in an attempt to reveal the truth and expose the millions of harsh lives for Blacks in America.
Throughout history in America, Black lives have severely been affected: from slavery to Emancipation, hard labor, sharecropping, to the great Northern migration and life in poverty-stricken areas. With the inclusion of images, Wrights work was merely meant to expose harsh realities that the American society had purposely been oblivious to. Post memory is a concept that was initially introduced by Marianne H...


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...nowledges America’s advancement in regards to being a multinational country while simultaneously noting that advancement is not enough to offer peace, just and equality for Black lives. Due
to the deliberate sentiment surfacing the images in 12 Million Black Voices and the repetition of emotion in words, more than often readers sense a feeling of sorrow; even if they themselves have not experienced such traumatic events. This concept clearly relays back to the notion of post memory introduced by Hirsch, a tactic that Wright utilized shrewdly. He writes, “None of the photographs here reproduced was made for this book; they were taken by Farm Security photographers as they roamed the country during a five-year period on their regular assignments” (Wright, 149). To end his story in such a way, is yet another attempt
to unexposed the truth about Black lives in America.

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