Finish the sentence: "Richard Wright's Black Boy is_______."Finish the sentence: "Richard Wright's Black Boy is_______."

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Richard Wright's Black Boy is revealing and inspiring.  The autobiographical aspects reveal the terrible conditions of Richard's poverty, the lack of opportunities for him, and his disillusionment with Communism. On the other hand, the fact that Wright has been able to lift himself from poverty and from abject resentment of the barriers that he has confronted and made of himself a writer of much acumen and sophistication is certainly inspiring.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If this is based on personal reflect, be ready to see a great many responses.  I would say that Wright's work is highly powerful.  Richard Wright is able to compose a work that speaks to what it means to be "Black in America" in a meaningful manner.  I don't think that Wright wants to be the last word in the dialogue.  Rather, he wishes to explore it and base a discussion off of it.  In Black Boy, we see this to a great extent.  Analyzing race from both points of view helps to bring out the idea that racism is a social condition that carries with it psychological impacts that require discussion and introspection on both social and individual levels in order to fully understand and eradicate it.  Wright's work focuses on what it means to be "Black" and how individual identity has an interesting relationship with social reality.  On one hand, individuals wish to be their own person, but on the other hand, the force of society is a strong one and individuals have to balance what society dictates with individual desires, should they oppose one another.  In this, there is a great work that seeks to analyze the issue of race from social condition to individual predicament, speaking to the need for dialogue throughout.  It is for this that I would say that Black Boy is a discussion waiting to be had.

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