Black Boys: a History of American Blacks


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When it comes to narrative writing and techniques, Wright definitely has a way to use it. In this book, he uses a variety of techniques to tell his stories and express his themes. Wright showed many emotions through out the story about how they treated him and gave him a hard time growing up. Black Boy is a memoir of racism which is constantly shifting setting. Richard Wright’s young life is filled with constant movement, from one place to another. Also he suffered from hunger and had limited medication because African-American families in a white-dominated area don’t have access to proper food, medicine, and other lifestyle necessities.

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One of the major part of this story is Racism. During these times people treated each other differently just because of there skin, as a boy, Richard sees that some people have lighter skin, and other people have darker skin. But he has a hard time understanding what these distinctions mean culturally and politically. After observing the hate of whites and he sees the fears in which many black families live.Wright asks his mother, early on, if he is a ‘ Negro. ‘His mother replies that society would label him one, though he is actually of mixed white, Native American, and African ancestry. Wright states that, as he grows older, he begins to see that white children and white families in the South are off a privileged class, and that black families serve white families. Wright knew what he was in the world but didn’t like it. Tears and pain were definitely included in this book because it was horrible what he went through but he fought and made it. He was definitely proud and happy with himself. Richard lived in Mississippi and Arkansas in which he gets exposed to white against blacks. While there Richard himself is physically threatened by two men called Pease and Reynolds were he is forced to leave his job at Crane’s eyeglass shop. This kind of stuff is horrible knowing you can’t do anything but to listen and give them what they want.

Weight also went through the struggles of the moving from one place to another. Wright is born in Jackson, Mississippi. The capital of the state serves as his home base for much of his young life. But after his father leaves the family for another woman, and his mother has a stroke, Wright moves back and forth between relatives in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Memphis. Wright’s movement from place to place causes him to never truly feel at home in a single location. His schooling is frequently interrupted which leaves his reports saying that he only a has few years of continuous schooling in Jackson. He flees to Memphis, and, eventually to Chicago, in his early twenties. Most people would hate moving from place to place but Richard did it because he wanted a better life for himself.

Lastly, Black Boy details Wright’s physical discomfort and the privations of his life in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Many characters in the memoir also suffer greatly, because African-American families in the white-dominated South. Knowing that being different skin tones was wrong he still wanted people to know we are all human. Although Richard continues to get hate he pushes forward not only for himself but for his family too. When his father left his mom for another person the whole family had to world extra hard just to afford food. They had to work for white folks just to be able to put food on table which shows that whites were more superior then those who are black. Knowing this Richard wanted to make a change for the better. Not only did society push him but he did to and in the end he reached those goals.

In conclusion, the black boy by Richard Wright taught me that no matter how hard or how easy life may be we are still strong. We still have a life to live no matter what life brings for us. Knowing that Wright went through all these kind of made me think about how I had a hard time growing up too definitely not in a way like him but knowing that he has the strength to share his story is amazing. Because in the end it makes the people reading it became strong enough to get through anything that’s going on in life or share what they went through. He took charge of his own life and made it to where he is now. Many stories and emotions were showed throughout this book making it feel like you were apart of it.

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