Black Boy

By Richard Wright,

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Black Boy as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In the introduction to the first edition of Black Boy, Richard Wright acknowledges that while inspired by his life the book is both a record of his life and an imagined autobiography of all the “black boys” he knew who like him came of age in the segregated south.

Wright’s book is an early example of the use of creative nonfiction techniques that make this memoir gripping, suspenseful, deeply psychological, and a testimony to the power of dreams and the will to prevail against adversity.

In this classic text, racism and its attendant poverty work in tandem to smother young Richard’s development. This book begins with one of the most memorable scenes in all of literature: Richard almost sets his grandmother’s house on fire because he is just so curious about what would happen if flames met his dying grandmother’s curtains. A truth-teller like Jane Eyre, Richard refuses to accept the status quo as unchangeable – refuses to identify himself with the way society identifies him. Though nearly every act of his self-assertion is met by a counteract of suppression on the part of the…

From Deborah's list on impossible childhoods.

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