Three big questions to answers. Stereotypes are still all around us; they help us to make sense of realities which we don't know directly or that we find threatening. Stereotypes make these groups irremediably other from what we are. The poor are lazy, Muslims are dangerous terrorists, black are over sexual, all the politicians are the same . . . these are just some examples.
Richard Wright challenged stereotypes about African Americans in his books. Yet, several critics have faulted him for relying on stereotypes himself. For example, fellow African American novelist James Baldwin faulted Wright for depicting characters which lacked psychological depth and credibility. More recent critics such as Henry Louis Gates defined the narrative voice in Black Boy - American Hunger and the character of Richard as a stereotype in the tradition of the Sidney Poitier's characters: they are exceptional individuals who stand out from the bleak mass of African American, the exception not the rule. These critics find Wright guilty of relying on the stereotype that defined African Americans are backward. In addition, feminist critics have pointed to the stereotypical notions of women in Wright's writings. They point out how female characters are either sexually aggressive or asexual; there is no credible in between.
As for the characters who are victims of stereotyping, Wright's books provide a lot of examples. In Native Son, for example, Bigger is victim of the idea that blacks are all rapiers and that they secretly covet white women.