Richard Wright's Black Boy: Book Review

800 Words4 Pages
Black Boy Book Review Richard Wright begins his biography in 1914 with a story of his never-ending curiosity and need to break the rules. Although this biography only extends through the early years of his life, Wright manages to display the harsh world that a black member of society faced in the South during the time of the Jim Crow laws. Wright explains the unwritten customs, rules and expectations of blacks and whites in the south, and the consequences faced when these rules are not followed strictly. From 1880, a strict set of state and local laws, called the Jim Crow laws, were put in place to enforce physical segregation of black and white southerners. At a young age, Wright began to see segregation between races because he lived in…show more content…
In an attempt to be nice, five white men in a car offered for Richard to ride the bike while holding on to the car so he would return to the store in a timelier manner. While having what seemed like a casual conversation, Wright responded to the question, “Wanna drink [of alcohol], boy?” with “Oh, no!” Almost immediately a whiskey bottle hit Wright between the eyes causing him to fall backwards from the speeding car into the road. “Nigger, ain’t you learned no better sense’n that yet? Ain’t you learned to say sir to a white man yet?, ” stated one of the men. The white men later made the comment that Richard was lucky he has said such a foolish remark to them because if it had been in the presence of another white man he would have probably been dead. Wright was slowly coming to terms with the fact that he was not regarded as an equal with the white…show more content…
Wright had stepped to the side to allow the people to walk past him when his friend, Griggs, “reached for [his] arm and jerked [him] violently, sending [him] stumbling three of four feet across the pavement.” His friend was trying to teach him how to “properly” get out of white peoples ways because when white people are around Richard “acts…as if [he] didn’t know that they were white.” Wright, being a very rebellious child, seemed to stem his rebellion into a tone that whites took as a sign of utter disrespect. This, though, only seemed to be a part of southern ways, as Wright later explains how, in Chicago, some female workers at a small café would rub up against him as they were walking by. If something like this were to happen in the South, even if it was the white woman’s fault, Wright could have been sentenced to death simply because of the color of his
Open Document