Racism In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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The book, Black Boy, is Richard Wright’s autobiography of the struggles he encountered in his childhood. He struggled with complex ideas like racial segregation and discrimination. This which largely influenced Wright as a writer and a person. The beginning of the book mostly takes part in Jim Crow Jackson, Mississippi and even though Richard moves many times he finds that racism is prevalent everywhere including peoples actions and attitudes. Throughout the story, Wright changes himself as a response to the prejudice he encounters in his day-to-day life and to help present the effects of racism on Wright’s life he uses rhetorical choices, including the point of view in which the book is told and by the use of compare and contrast. Richard …show more content…
This is only possible because his family has raised him up to be just a black boy and nothing else. While the small black children are being taught to hate and fear the white community, the white children are also being taught to hate black people and this could be the cause that leads to severe conflicts. For instance, Wright says “We were now large enough for the white boys to fear us and both of us, the white boys and the black boys began to play our traditional racial roles as though we had been born to them, as though it was in our blood, as though we were being guided by instinct” (Wright 83). Looking at the diction of this sentence for chapter 3 of Black Boy, we see the grown up and mature Richard looking back at the young and naïve version of himself and wanting not to hate the white people anymore because Wright realizes that it is not the white adolescents faults for acting this way and that they are brought up in their tradition to be racist. Later on in the passage, we see Richard beginning to understand that the black race and the white race have different roles in the world that they now live in. The diction Wright uses in Black Boy helps us understand how Richard learns his place in the society and how he learns what words mean and how it works. To illustrate, we see Wright realize the difference between words like “whip” and “beat” and “boy” and “man”: “Then why did the ‘white’ man whip the ‘black’ boy” I asked my mother. “The ‘white’ man did not whip the ‘black’ boy,” my mother told me. “He beat the black boy.” “But why?” “You’re too young to understand.” (Wright 23) These encounters Wright has with words helps Wright tell us what his perspective

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