“Life of a Black Boy”
Black Boy by Richard Wright is a novel dating back from the early 1900s, in the segregated Jim Crow south, which is a time where Blacks were not treated as an equal to Whites. The hardships such as violence, poverty, and racism affected the culture of African American youth in the south. Richard Wright’s Black Boy continues the conflicts and struggles of the racism in the United States. The criticism and abuse Richard deals with strives him towards his dream to be a writer.
The violence in the Jim Crow South was horrific and had an effect on African American children. The violence Richard experiences in his life pertaining to bullying and abuse made him the man he is today. During Richard’s lifetime he and the other African Americans are faced with many adversities because of their race “Color hate defined the place of black life as below that of white life”. A black man was lynched for allegedly meeting with a white prostitute. When Richard’s Uncle Hoskins was shot and killed by a white man, it took an emotional toll on Richard. He was terrified and confused on why they couldn’t do anything about it, “This was as close as a white terror had ever come to me, why had we not fought back” this is an example of how confused Richard is (Wright 54). At young ages African Americans are exposed to the reality of the Jim Crow South, and didn’t know how to avoid or overcome it in anyway. Violence was just a daily and natural event in the lives of Southern Black youth, “Richard is forced to fight another Black boy after the White man he works with coerces him into it” violence was just a way to survive. The abuse affected his life “you’re not going to beat me! I didn’t do it!” no matter where Richard was violence was always around.
Most African American families in the South were lower class and committed dangerous acts to survive, “Richard suffered poverty and hunger experiences that later became themes...