Black Boy

Black Boy

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Black Boy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 196 reviews.
Kathy-B More than 1 year ago
Want to know in depth detail about the life of a typical of an African American boy growing up in the 1920's? Well this is the book for you. "Black Boy" is an autobiography of author Richard Wright, and his life growing up. Read as he goes in full detail of his harsh life at home vs. his everyday life trying to keep up and cope with the society. Wright reveals the real action that would go on in a typical broken African American home. However, violence was not the only conflict he had to deal with. Because of his family's dedication to Religion, Wright had to assemble that in along with his behaviors-Wright always chose not to. From stealing to getting a new job every week, Wright makes sure the reader does not want to put the book down. A definitely must read!
Krzykrnkln More than 1 year ago
In America today, it would be insulting to say, "Hey you, black boy!" to call an African-American child. So when I first read the title of this book, I knew it was going to be about racism. And one of the book's main theme turned out to be about it. I read this book because it was my school requirement, and before I read it, I thought to myself, 'Ehh, just another book about racism.' Interestingly, this autobiography opened up my mind, changing my view drastically about the life of African-Americans during early 1900s. Before reading the book, I thought only rights, like voting, were denied to African-Americans. However, it was waaaaaaay more than that. Not only the rights were denied, the majority of white in America impacted African-Americans psychologically, discouraging them from rising up in status. Through out this book, the main character struggles through the segregated America to achieve what other few African-American tried during this period, equality. The author's diction is easier than I thought it would've been, and sometimes I stayed up till midnight reading this because it was simply attracting. I strongly recommend reading this autobiography to the young generation.
Ema_C_13 More than 1 year ago
A boy can only go through so much. Or can he? Black Boy is a compelling autobiography describing all the struggles and hardships of Richard Wright’s life. Richard deals with many issues (which are the main themes of the book) including racism, religious beliefs, choosing between right and wrong, and trust issues. From an early age Richard has struggled. At a young age, Wright set his house on fire, his father left his family helpless, and he and his brother were forced into an orphanage because their mother could no longer provide for them. This sets up his life of fighting to find enough money to support himself and all of his family- in a world full of racism. Richard has a passion for writing and reading-will it break him or make him? Richard must learn to deal with this chaos he calls life, but he trusts no one and will take help from nobody. I really enjoyed the autobiography Black Boy, but I thought it got slower towards the end. I would highly recommend this book to high schoolers, because it provides detailed insight into Richard’s life, and gives a clear understanding of his hardships including racism. It includes clear and crisp stories of his life, with very vivid imagery. The book will certainly keep them on their toes and keep them reading- what will happen to Richard next? I loved the fact that so many major events were packed into the book, but that minor events were also included to support overall ideas and provide further explanation into the significance of each event. Imagery was present in every page, and it felt as if you were living through the book with Richard himself, partaking in his journey. I found myself clinging to each word, undecidedly feeling that I did like Richard, then a couple pages later thinking about how I despised him. In the end, I liked him, and that maybe I just didn’t like some of his choices. Either way, there is certainly enough to read and understand about his life. However, I felt the book didn’t provide enough detail about some of the other characters (yes, I know, it was an autobiography, but still) such as Richard’s father, mother, and brother and at times felt confused when other family members were mentioned (aunts and uncles). Also, mentions of certain jobs felt unimportant and unnecessary, as they were briefly mentioned, and soon replaced by another job. Some parts got very religious as well, just as a forewarning. My overall rating of this book would be probably an 8.5/10. Like previously mentioned, it was a very good book that kept me reading and turning the page, but had a few issues that were quite bothersome (that is my own opinion). If you like this book, I would suggest checking out a few of Richard Wright’s other book such as Eight Men: Short Stories or Uncle Tom’s Children. Certainly consider reading Black Boy, I doubt you’ll regret it.
Rachel363 More than 1 year ago
When I got the list of books that I had to read for my upcoming school year Black Boy By Richard Wright was not one of the books that stuck out to me. When it came time in the year to start reading it I fell in love with this story of an astounding mans life. From the very first page you feel sympathetic for Richard and his younger brother, Alan. Immediately you see how their parents raise them with a strong fist. As Richard grows up he is forced to deal with harsh parents, grandparents, teachers and white bosses but that never discourages him. His will power to keep moving forward and learning is truly inspirational. Richard Wright writes in a non-exaggerated way that clearly shows the harassment and persecution this man had to endure his whole life. His describes his situation with the perfect amount of detail so you are aware of his surroundings but it is not overbearing. It forces you to go through an emotional rollercoaster that I would ride any day! For all you people who thinks this book would not apply to you, you could not be more wrong. I am a privileged white girl with caring parents and teachers and friend always there to help but I was still able to find more similarities to Richard than most would expect. During his childhood he struggled with fitting in when he changed from school to school, that is an emotion that anyone would feel. If they were going to a new school, job, or even a party. At his job he encounters abnormal coworkers, which any person can relate to. I guarantee that any person could pick up this book and find a least one commonality with their life. That is a huge reason it is such a great read! It also gives great topic discussions so it's perfect for a class, book club or simply bonding with a friend. Once you pick up this book you will not be able to put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Black Boy was interesting, but it seemed to me that Richard would keep going backwards even when it appeared he was moving forward. For this reason the plot, to me, seemed to be very repetitive but with different characters. It was fun noticing the differences between Richard the character and Wright the author, I wouldn't really recommend this book but I'm sure there's plenty of other people that would.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Would read it over and over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating and horrifying look at racial prejudice in the 1920`s south told through the eyes of an unlikely eyewitness - a self-educated black intellectual. Wright`s stark depiction of the sordid and cruel worlds of both blacks and whites make riveting reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in reading about what life was like for a black boy in the deep south in the 20's, then this book is a must read for you. I was surprised in his Communist connections later in his life while living in Chicago.
morgantrujillo More than 1 year ago
The Black Boy by Richard Wright is a powerful autobiography of Richard’s young life. He faces long and challenging areas in his life in the south with the Jim Crow Laws. Richard is the narrator of the entire book relating to his life as a young child. The perspective is from a small child’s point of view growing up in the world as a black boy. During this story Richard starts off living with his mother, grandmother and brother in a small house. The house is then caught on fire by Richard forcing the family to move to Jackson. While in Jackson Richard’s mom got ill and was near death. In the beginning Richard was not aware of much that was going on in the world around him and had not realized that there was a problem with racial problems between the blacks and the whites. In the book Richard began to selling papers not realizing what the papers had inside of them. The text explains how a black man showed what he had been selling in this quote, “Well, the paper you’re selling preaches the Ku Klux Klan doctrines,” (131). Richard, as a young boy had not yet realized that he had been working for the white’s against the blacks. Richard only knew small parts of what had been going on, and that was that white’s particularly did not care for the blacks unless for work. Richard’s family was never happy with him and his beliefs. Because of that he was always being beaten by his family. In the text he explains how his Uncle Tom was very angry with him trying to beat him, “This day I’m going to give you a whipping some ought to have given you long ago,” (157). Richard grew up in a very unsupportive household. Throughout the years Richard lands a few part time jobs trying to make enough money to make it on his own. By the time graduation comes along he stole money making his way to the north. Richard was horrified with his crime, but he had to do it to make his life better. Richard makes it to Memphis where he started his life. His life does not change much, but leads him to a better life. In the end Richard realizes that he still wants to be a writer and flees to Chicago making his life better.
eatea More than 1 year ago
Richard Wright can never dissapoint. This non-fiction novel is even better than Native Son even though it does not have such a thrilling story line. The way he writes captivates the reader in a way that one will not want to put the book down. Learning about the past in his perspective is enthralling and amusing to read about.
KatherineLauren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Don't Forget a TissueBlack Boy was one of those books that was impossible for me to put down. I would stay up until early in the morning just to find out what would happen in the life of Richard Wright. Although he overcomes many obstacles to get to where he was, the painful events that he had to endure were so heartbreaking that it made me want to cry. Growing up without a father for most of his childhood and an abusive mother, he not only struggles to get as much knowledge inside his head, but he is also learning to deal with the racism that becomes a part of his life.This is one of those books where you cannot really connect many of the events that happened to him to everyday life. That is why I found this book to be very hard to put down. By reading something that you cannot connect to in real life, it makes the story more interesting and enjoyable to read. I loved this book because it gave me a glimpse as to what African Americans like Richard Wright went through during the 20th century and how much progress we as a nationhave made towards the equality of black people and white people. I would easily put this book on my top ten favorite books of all time list, and remember, don't forget to bring a tissue.
Jasonjargese on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stale Bread and Black MolassesIn the novel, Black Boy, Richard Wright begins with a shocking scene sure to grab the attention of many readers: he burns down his own home by throwing curtains into a fireplace. He is very concise with his writing and keeps the topic simple. In the beginning, he describes vividly his boyhood and his youth in Mississippi. He showed his interest in knowledge and reading ever since he was four years old. As time progressed, I noticed that Richard began to challenge authority more and more. He was becoming more sneaky and dangerous around whites, especially when he tricked his boss at the theater and took the money. It felt like the entire plot of the book was to move up north through a series of jobs. Although I have only read Part I of the novel, it is safe to say that these jobs drastically effected his decision to move.One theme mentioned frequently in the novel is that of hunger. We¿ve all been hungry before, but Wright describes it as terrible as it can get, up to the point where he is forced to commit a crime to get money. He lives off of a can of beans for dinner each night and the food as his jobs weren¿t so great either. After a hard day¿s work, Richard is given some stale bread and black molasses by his boss on the farm. Richard kindly and respectfully declines the offer and moves on to the next job. Hunger is a main theme in the novel and one that has played a permanent effect on Richard¿s mind and behavior. This book is a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to teenagers as well as adults because of the insight and knowledge it provides once finished with the novel.
DELITT on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Incredibly vivid memoir. A great blend of humour and tragedy. Great descriptions of the sights and sounds of the era and fascinating insights into the effects of racism and self-education.
ps2hugh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Black Boy is a non-fiction novel about the life of Richard Wright's life. It tells about his life as a child in the South, and his adult life with the Communists in Chicago. There is a lot of action and things going on, but there is a lot of time explaining how he felt during this time, and with him not doing anything. I did like this book. It was written very well. I believed he conveyed his emotions well. The only thing is, this type of book, is not one of my favorites. Despite this, I still enjoyed it, and if you really like autobiographies, or black history books, then this is a must read.
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My second reading of Richard Wright¿s Black Boy, coming some 40 years after my first, was a much different experience than I expected it to be. I probably should not have been surprised because I am not, of course, the same person I was four decades ago when I first read of Wright¿s struggles to survive the Jim Crow South as a young black man with an ¿attitude problem.¿ However, more importantly, the text I read in the late sixties did not include Wright¿s complete manuscript. The Library of America edition I read this time includes an additional six chapters (some 117 pages) under the subtitle ¿Part Two: The Horror and the Glory.¿ In this section of the book, Wright describes his arrival in Chicago and his flirtation with the American Communist Party. This new section of Wright¿s autobiography does offer new insight into his life and politics but, frankly, it lessens the overall impact of Black Boy. The book is much more powerful with its original open-ended final words than it is with the detailed revelations pertaining to the silliness and incompetence of Chicago¿s Communist party.¿Part One: Southern Night,¿ particularly as it pertains to Wright¿s early boyhood, is fascinating. A portion of one paragraph on page 192, for instance, in which Wright addresses the ever-present tension he lived with, is unforgettable:¿I did not know when I would be thrown into a situation where I would say the wrong word to the wrong white man and find myself in trouble. And, above all, I wanted to avoid trouble, for I feared that if I clashed with whites I would lose control of my emotions and spill out words that would be my sentence of death. Time was not on my side and I had to make some move.¿Wright, an exceptionally bright child despite getting a slow start to any kind of formal education, had two strikes against him from the beginning. Strike one was his geographic location ¿ he grew up in the heart of Mississippi when Jim Crow was still king. Strike two was that Wright was part of such a deeply conservatively religious extended family that he was not allowed to read much other than the Bible. His maternal grandmother believed all fiction to be the devil¿s work and severely punished Wright if he dared expose himself to it.What Richard Wright accomplished despite these handicaps is striking. Physical survival was not a given in the American South of those days for young black men as outspoken as Wright. That he did survive, and that he accomplished as much as he did, is inspirational. Black Boy deserves to be considered an American classic even in this complete version, but I believe that it is a better book as originally published.Rated at: 4.0
likelectriceels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Black Boy is one of those books that you know you should like, but nothing within the book will allow you to do so. I read this book as a summer project for my english class in freshman year of high school. Thinking back on this book, I can remember many hours spent lying in the hammock finding the squirrels in the trees far more interesting than the diction of the book. The text was convoluted and very difficult to take in. Not only was the book difficult to read, the subject matter wasn't particularly cheery either. One event in the book I can recall specifically is a scene in which the main character tortures a cat. The worst part of the project was that our teacher didn't even like the book. Overall, reading this book was just a terrible experience that I hope to never have ever again.
kjarcand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was awful. I commend Wright for this detailed memoir of his life, and perhaps it was because I was forced to read this, but I just could not stay interested through the book. It took several attempts to read each chapter and fully appreciate the words. I still intend to read Native Son, though I worry I may have the same problem.
eesti23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Black Boy is an autobiographical novel about the life of Richard Wright, a poor black child growing up in the American South in the early 1900's. Broken into two parts it, in great detail, outlines the struggles of poverty, fear, hatred and hunger, first in the South and then later when he moves to the North. Part two of the book, which also chronicles Richard's involvement with the Communist party, was originally cut from the book as a condition of being included in the Book-of-the-Month-Club. Black Boy is an interesting read and well written however the more reflective tone that it takes in the second part can, at times, become tedious especially when thinking about how Richard, by allowing the second half of the book to be cut, did in fact what he frowns upon his fellow social class members and writers for doing. If at all possible it is worth viewing the coorespondence between the Book-of-the-Month, Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Richard Wright, which is based at Yale University (the Beinecke) as it gives a lot more insight into the reasons behind the situation and the pressure that Richard Wright was under in relation to his decision.
kaylol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago but I still remember it because the author events I never found in any autobiography.
Avabell More than 1 year ago
Want to learn about the Struggles of Young African American and How he Lived through Racism in the 1920’s? This is your book. I really enjoyed Black Boy by Richard Wright. It’s a book about overcoming suffering and finding your true self in the process. Richard Wright grew up with a suffering family, moving place to place trying to survive. Richard was abused, starved, worked, and abandoned. Even in a world like his, he was a smart man who loved to write and he rarely gave in to racism and abuse. He faced many demoralizing racial encounters with whites and even had to abandon his morals to survive. But he never gave up on writing and knew it was his connection to the world.I liked the narration and how his specific memories connects to so many others out there who face racial discrimination and abuse in the 1920’s. I didn't like how he added his connection with the communist party, since that's a whole other topic he could have wrote a separate book about that experience. If you are someone who enjoys reading about overcoming segregation this is a good book for you. There are many themes and lessons to learn from this book, like overcoming hardships and finding beauty in a world full of ugliness and neglect. This memoir would make a great movie. There are so many movies about the 1800’s and slavery, but there need to be more about the later years of segregation and racism. This book taught me to find beauty in life, rise above suffering and don’t let anyone get in the way of what you want to do. I think this would make a great film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Richard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can someone plz lend this to me
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