Black Boy by Richard A. Wright
(The Restored Text Established by The Library of America) (Perennial Classics)

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However, Black Boy insinuates through multiple scenes that all whites were racist. The autobiography was also hard to follow, due to the lack of explanation and incoherence.
-Teen Ink

Synopsis

Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi, with poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a "drunkard," hanging about taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot.

Black Boy is Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.

 

About Richard A. Wright

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Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the black experience. He stands today alongside such African-American luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and two of his books, Native Son and Black Boy, are required reading in high schools and colleges across the nation. He died in 1960.
 
Published June 3, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 451 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Black Boy
All: 7 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 07 2011

It is an unfinished story of a problem that has still to be met. Perhaps this will force home unpalatable facts of a submerged minority, a problem far from being faced.

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Suite 101

Above average
on Apr 10 2012

Many are the themes approached by the author in his autobiography, such as race, love and family. Among them, there is a very important one: the quest for literacy and the empowerment that derives by achieving it.

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Common Sense Media

Above average
on Apr 04 2007

Black Boy is painful to read; the emotional and physical assaults Wright suffered as a child are as upsetting to parents as they will be to children.

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National Review Online

Above average
on Feb 06 2009

Wright’s story of his boyhood is not wholly accurate, and he paints the Jim Crow South as more monolithic than it was. But it is an unforgettable introduction to a vanished world in which “whites had drawn a line over which [blacks] dared not step.”

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Teen Ink

Above average

However, Black Boy insinuates through multiple scenes that all whites were racist. The autobiography was also hard to follow, due to the lack of explanation and incoherence.

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Teen Ink

Above average
on Apr 27 2010

The autobiography uses techniques so well usually reserved for fiction...When read as such, however, Black Boy sparks many emotions that are sometimes lost in today's society, where racism is perhaps not as overt as it used to be.

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Teen Ink

Above average

An African-American myself, I can identify with Wright’s struggle. I enjoyed Black Boy because we both believe in unity, tolerance and equality...

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Reader Rating for Black Boy
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