The Role Of Violence In Richard Wright's Black Boy

785 Words 4 Pages
African Americans have been looked down upon as inferior in society for centuries and these prejudice observations have influenced the way these individuals are viewed in today’s world. Part of the reason individuals have such a hard time accepting them as equals is because of the stereotypical understanding that all African American people are born violent. Though like many stereotypes in today’s times, this one is mistaken as no matter where you are born, violence is something that is learned, not inherited. A person’s personality is greatly influenced by outside factors such as family, experiences, and society, that together help build the moral code for one’s owns self. Although many may argue that violence is natural in all Black communities, …show more content…
In his memoir, Black Boy, he describes very clearly the violence he experienced around him as a young boy and how it had effected his temper at the time. A study done by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2004 explained that, “Aggressive children tend to be hypersensitive to cues of threat, and overlook other situational factors that may have influenced the person’s behavior” (Cooley Strickland). This is behavior is seen many time by Richard especially in the episode where he is being yelled at by Aunt Addie because he embarrassed her in front of the class. As she becomes more enraged, Richard explains his thoughts to the audience by saying that “perhaps my uneasy childhood, perhaps my shifting from town to town, perhaps the violence I had already seen and felt took hold of me and I was trying to stifle the impulse...”(Wright 107). His actions afterwards when he threatens Aunt Addie with a knife not only confirm the influence his environment has had on him, but also prevents him from assessing the situation reasonably instead of to violently like his family had shown him. He grew up knowing that if an individual does something wrong, society would punish them through violence no matter how lenient the offense. [[Conclusion

Related Documents