The Theme Of Racism In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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Black Boy, an autobiography of Richard Wright 's early life, explains Richard 's years in the Jim Crow South during the 1920 's. The story starts when four-year-old Richard sets fire to his grandmother 's house in Jackson, Mississippi, and Richard receives a brutal beating by his mother. The family then moves to Memphis, Tennessee, where Richard 's father eventually leaves the family. While staying in Memphis, Richard learns about racism from what he observes in the world. Also while in Memphis Richard becomes alienated from God and the Christian faith, developing in its place a love of the natural world. Then when Ella, Richard 's mother becomes ill, Richard moves with her back to Jackson to live with his oppressing grandmother. There …show more content…
Black Boy, explores racism not only as a belief held by people, but also as a part of society. For Richard, the real problem of racism is not that it exists, but that it is so deep into history that it 's doubtful that it will be destroyed. Black Boy represents Wright’s desire to observe and reflect upon the racist world around him. On one note, when the Drepression hits and Richard loses his job he says, "Having been thrust out of the world because of my race, I had accepted my destiny by not being curious about what shaped it (pg. 288)." This quote demonstrates that even though Richard 's race has kicked him out of society, and has made him unacceptable in society, he accepts his destiny rather than questioning it. In this quote he observes how racism has changed his destiny, and he must accept it for what it is. Also racism is observed when Richard is invited to be a delegate at a writer 's conference in New York City. Once there he finds that he cannot get a place to stay because he is black. Disgusted, he rejects his help and he wanders the streets. Finally he stays with a white woman and he wonders He wonders if a black man "ever live like a halfway decent human being in this goddamn country (pg. 349)." This quote demonstrates exactly how racism was during his time, and how it impacted his life and his doings. It analysis how black people were not treated treated as humans, rather they were dehumanized by white people. Therefore the overall theme of the story was the effect of racism, since racism played a great role in Richard 's character, and how he interpreted the world, and

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