Richard Wright Black Boy

Topics: African American, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: November 19, 2013

Richard Wright’s novel Black Boy is an autobiography that depicts the life of a black male growing up in the early 20th century. One of the biggest factors contributing to the man Wright became were influences by society. Society played a huge role in developing Wright as an author and as a person. Examples of these societal factors include: race, educational opportunities, gang and ghetto life, and the attraction of Paris to African American writers of the 20th century. These collective bearings helped shape Richard Wright into one of the most influential African American writers of all time. Just as it is today, where one resides has an enormous impact on educational opportunities. Because a predominantly large number of African American families live in poor areas, their children attend underfunded schools. In the novel Wright’s poor economic status limited his and many other black’s educational opportunities. Still, Wright understood the value of education: “schooling was more important than the knowledge of a particular subject”(Vogel). When poverty over ruled schooling and Richard could not attend for periods of time, he would teach himself. “I went to school, feeling that my life depended not so much upon learning as upon getting into another world of people” (Wright). Wright grew up in a segregated portion of the south in Jackson Mississippi. He also grew up in a poor and poverty struck community that meant he had a slim chance of getting out. Growing up in a ghetto is very difficult because of the high rate of unemployment, violence, and crime. In these ghettos high rates of poverty lead to low rates of steady employable males which in turn lead to high rates of single parent households. “Single-parent households lead to lower levels of social control and supervision”(Williams and Collins). Thus, resulting in children of these households becoming more encouraged to violence. Not only did Wright have to deal with...
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