First America', Or Black Boy


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Black Boy is an autobiography book about the tortured years of Richard Wright’s life, in his early life. They talk about how a black kid from a poor family wants to become a writer and wants to go North. Meanwhile he’s learning how to survive, how to handle hunger, religion and the difference between right and wrong. The story is set in the early twentieth century, in a society with a high violence level against racism. Ever since Richard was young he has been curious to know what is going on around him. He was good at learning and always wanted to know why things happen and how they happen.Because of the hard life lessons Richard has been through, he realized in what his society is like. All that turned him into the kind of person he was. Also, when Richard was small and was abandoned by his father, his mother makes him understand that he is hungry because his father has left them. As a small child, Richard really does not understand hunger; he just knows that he was hungry and that he has to work to solve the issue of hunger.

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Hunger also represents the desire to know more about what causes things to be considered right or wrong. For example; Richard needs to know what causes racial discrimination. When he goes outside, he sees situations of violence. He wonders why white people attack a black person. He wonders why nobody wants to answer his questions. He wonders why is the fear of white people normal. He wonders why nobody wants to answer his questions. Oppressors fear curiosity among the oppressed, since curiosity finally discovers the lies that form the basis of that oppression. Nobody wants to do anything to solve this because they are afraid of the result. On the other hand, religion plays an important role in the book. Richard’s mother raises him as a Christian. He submits to the pressure of God, but his faith is lost because he cannot understand why a loving God, who can provide everything, does not provide food to his mother and him. He begins to see God as someone solely. He tends to exchange his faith in God as someone who punishes black people. He tends to exchange his faith in God for his writing. However, he always feels an inevitable moral connection with religion.

Society makes him consider that Christianity is based primarily on a general inclusion in a group rather than incorporating a meaningful, spiritual connection with God. From his childhood, he is different from the rest of the black children. He does not want to do what everyone else does, and he refuses to conform throughout the book. He is, therefore, rejected. He is always known for his attitude of detachment and for his curiosity to become and do something better for society. He shows the world reality, for which other people consider him “bad”. For example; no one supports him with his dream of becoming a writer. He is embarrassed by them because they do not think a black person can become a writer. For example; Richard lost his job for trying to help a black woman who is being beaten by white people. Basically, he is always discriminated against for seeking equality between a white person and a black person. Richard is totally disgusted with the persecution of blacks by whites. All the situations he has lived through since childhood make him want to live in the North, which, he believes, would make life better. When is finally manages to move North, he does not feel liberated and realizes that he will always be who he is and always belongs to the place where he was born. He also begins to understand that crime is necessary and that it is only bad if it does not serve to improve society. Still, he does not know how to communicate with society.

Still, he does not know how to communicate with society or understand racism. He only knows that he wants to write to make everyone feel what he also feels; hunger for a better life. I think Richard Wright wants all people, in general, to realize that we do not have to stop doing something we want to do just because people tell us not to do it or that it is not for us. Richard would tell us to always fight for our dreams, as well as for the common good because the common good will provide is with an individual good. This will help us create a better life for the whole world. As for the racism that remains today, he want to show black people that they are not alone, that skin color does not matter, that the only thing that matters is that we are all people, and all people have the same rights and opportunities. In my opinion, I agree with Richard, and I think just like he does when it come to the issue of racism.

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