Black Boy (HarperCollins) by Richard Wright

By Richard Wright

Richard Wright grew up within the woods of Mississippi, with poverty, starvation, worry, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at these round him; at six he used to be a "drunkard," placing approximately taverns. Surly, brutal, chilly, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was once surrounded on one part via whites who have been both detached to him, pitying, or merciless, and at the different by way of blacks who resented someone attempting to upward push above the typical lot. Black Boy is Richard Wright's robust account of his trip from innocence to adventure within the Jim Crow South. it really is without delay an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and hectic list of social injustice and human anguish.

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Sample text

My growing hate of the preacher finally became more important than God or religion and I could no longer contain myself. I leaped up from the table, knowing that I should be ashamed of what I was doing, but unable to stop, and screamed, running blindly from the room. ” I bawled. The preacher tossed back his head and roared with laughter, but my mother was angry and told me that I was to have no dinner because of my bad manners. When I awakened one morning my mother told me that we were going to see a judge who would make my father support me and my brother.

I was overwhelmed by the many faces and the voices which I could not understand. High above me was a white face which my mother told me was the face of the judge. Across the huge room sat my father, smiling confidently, looking at us. My mother warned me not to be fooled by my father’s friendly manner; she told me that the judge might ask me questions, and if he did I must tell him the truth. I agreed, yet I hoped that the judge would not ask me anything. For some reason the entire thing struck me as being useless; I felt that if my father were going to feed me, then he would have done so regardless of what a judge said to him.

One summer afternoon—in my sixth year—while peering under the swinging doors of the neighborhood saloon, a black man caught hold of my arm and dragged me into its smoky and noisy depths. The odor of alcohol stung my nostrils. I yelled and struggled, trying to break free of him, afraid of the staring crowd of men and women, but he would not let me go. He lifted me and sat me upon the counter, put his hat upon my head and ordered a drink for me. The tipsy men and women yelled with delight. Somebody tried to jam a cigar into my mouth, but I twisted out of the way.

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