Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth Questions and Answers
by Richard Wright

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What is the main idea of the Richard Wright's "Black Boy"?

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The main idea of the book is the way racism degrades one's life by forcing one into a role rather than allowing them to express their individuality. In a system pervaded by racism, Wright is not a boy but a black boy, and this is the role he must play. He cannot be himself as an individual but is rather seen only an extension of his skin color. When growing up, he has a compelling interest in literature and a skeptical mind that questions what is around him. However, both the black and white worlds around him in the South do not nurture his interests or embrace his viewpoints. For example, Wright's grandmother wants him to be an observant member of the church, and the white world keeps his family in a position of poverty so that he can not satisfy his hunger—either for food or for knowledge. It is not until he...

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