An essay on how the author of Black Boy dealt with racism.
Black Boy Essay
Racism in America dates back to the Colonial era. It is a universal problem because everyone has at least once in their life come across it. Many minorities, such as Blacks and Native Americans have been heavily affected by it. World War II was the effect of Hitler’s racism against the Jews. Racial prejudices are held by a massive amount of the U.S. population more commonly in the South, where Richard Wright grew up, than the North.
As a child, Richard Wright didn’t understand the difference between White and Blacks. He saw his grandmother and thought he she looked as white as the rest of the White people but somehow knew she was different. Being so young he didn’t understand racism and didn’t know how to interact around White people. He finally realizes the harshness of racism when his Uncle Hoskins is shot by a White man and all his family does is run. Richard vows that if White men ever kill his family he will take them down no matter what.
Richard was never able to get used to Racism. He once saw a Black woman stumble out of a store where he worked and arrested for being drunk when she was actually raped. He could have helped her by talking to the police but he feared he might be killed. After this he decides to stop following laws and breaks them to make more money. He sells bootleg liquor in a hotel he works in and steals about fifty dollars from a movie theater.
When he finally does manage to move to the North he can’t comprehend Whites respecting him. While working for some Jews he doesn’t realize until much later they were good people and not out to get him. When he worked in a café he was too scared of his White boss to tell her that the cook was spitting in the food. Finally, when another Black girl joins the staff he convinces her to tell. Luckily the owner catches the cook in the act and fires her. Even in the North he still faces racism and eventually joins the Communist party because of its emphasis on protecting the oppressed.
Racism is a prevalent theme in the autobiography Black Boy written by Richard Wright. Richard was never able to understand racism even from being around it since birth. He eventually ends up moving to the North to get away from it. His only coping method is being very nice and respectful to Whites. Yet he also has a deep hatred of them and thinks he shouldn’t be nice to the Whites. He grows from these experiences by writing and finding solace in reading. In the end he hopes for equality through his writing.
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