Things That Don't Break Us, Make Us Stronger

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (825 words) Published: October 8, 2011
All cited pages are from "World Views by: Pearson Learning Solutions Sixth edition"

In a essay called “ The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch” (686) written by a man called Richard Wright who was born 1908 and lived through 1960. This essay was about the author who was a black man growing up after slavery was abolished yet segregation was still the way of life during that time. Wright had many experiences in his life that molded him into the man he became and taught him his place in society among white men and women. Wright later wrote many essays, novels, and books that were published. In particular one essay was about the “lessons” (687) he learned and experiences he witnessed others learn throughout his lifetime so readers could one day have a good understanding of what it was like growing up as a black man in the 1900's. Although each “lesson” teaches wright more about life, one of the most powerful occurs when his mother does not comfort him in regards to his fight with the white boys; instead, she punishes him to instill a fear of the possible consequences in fighting the white men in general.

Wright's mother grew up a witness to slavery which her mother and father had to endure. This gave her knowledge of the way of life, how the black community was treated, and how black people were supposed to treat the white men and women. Wrights mother worked in the kitchen for white people. She had seen many things in her life that Wright had not experienced first hand, which in turn made her more educated on the way life was between white and black men and women in the south. She knew that fighting the white people could result in physical harm or even death for Wright and wanted him to remember a valuable lesson on knowing his place in the world in retrospect to the white race; so he would not make the same mistake again which could result in worse things happening to him in the future. Wright's mother beat him with a “barrel stave” (688)...
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