Abuse And Control In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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Abuse and Control: Paralleling Religion in the Jim Crow South In 1944, Richard Wright shattered the alien perception of racism, malnourishment, corporal punishment, and religion of the Jim Crow South, whilst initiating the Civil Rights Movement in a single volume of text: a memoir entitled Black Boy. Acting as a chime of awakening to the social corruption and injustice occurring in the place that enslaved hundreds of souls generations before, Wright additionally criticizes many aspects of the lives of African Americans, especially when pertaining to religion. In Black Boy, Wright reflects upon his childhood and the negative influence that religion had on it, including its parallelity with abuse and control, two negative things that the white population of the Jim Crow South has been forcing upon him and the rest of the African American civilization since times of slavery. One of Wright’s objections to religion is its vast…show more content…
Wright also recalls that his “Granny maintained a hard religious regime. There were prayers at sunup and sundown, at the breakfast table and dinner table, followed by Bible verse from each member of the family” (111). Religion was once again used by Granny to maintain control in the household. Since religion --particularly the way that Granny practices it-- is a strict ordeal, it is a relatively simple way to orchestrate control. As demonstrated by Wright in Black Boy, the oppression by the white population is exacerbated by oppressive religious practices within households. Wright’s memoir, Black Boy, is a phenomenal commentary on the negative aspects of the Jim Crow South and the Black Community at that. He especially criticizes religion, and how it can be used to threaten and contain its followers. Even today this can be the case, and id does not end at religious practices: education and other social norms can be wielded as means to control its
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