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  • Posted By: bratt
  • Date Posted: 06/26/2011
  • Category: Book Reports
  • Words: 1005
  • Pages: 5
  • Views: 703
  • Rank: 763

Black Boy: Richard Wright

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Black Boy: Richard Wright

His mother, Ella, became the breadwinner of the family. Abandoned by her husband and unable to establish economic independence from her strict mother, Ella suffered greatly. A strong woman who faces terrible adversity, she trained Richard to be strong and to take care of himself. Later, the feisty, independent spirit Richard developed at home leaded him to refuse to accept the codes of behavior the white world has set for Southern blacks. When Richard finally decided to become writer, that career represented a declaration of independence from those in the black community.


PLOT SUMMARY: The opening chapter recounts Wright’s early childhood in Natchez, Mississippi, and his family’s move to Memphis. It describes his early rebellion against parental authority, his poverty and hunger, and his unsupervised life on the streets while his mother is at work. Then the Wrights move to the home of Richard’s Aunt Maggie. But their pleasant life there ends when whites kill Maggie’s husband. Later the threat of violence by whites forces Maggie to flee again. Richard’s mother has a stroke. Richard is sent to his Uncle Clark’s, but he is unhappy there and insists on returning to his mother’s. Richard confronts his Aunt Addie, who teaches at the Seventh-Day Adventist church school. He also resists his grandmother’s attempts to convert him to religious faith. And he writes his first story. Richard gets a job selling newspapers but quits when he finds that the newspapers espouse racist views. Later, his grandfather dies. Richard gets a job working for white people. Then he is baptized in his mother’s church. Finally, he has another near-violent confrontation with a relative. Richard publishes his first story. The reaction from his family is overwhelmingly negative. Richard becomes class valedictorian. But he refuses to give the speech written for him by the ...

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