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Black Boy - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Black Boy: An Analysis of Jim Crow and Racial Discord in Part 1 of Richard Wright’s Autobiography Although many themes greet the reader when they consider Part 1 of Richard Wright’s Black Boy, the most pressing is the way in which the pervasive application of the racist practices of Jim Crow affected the life of young Richard Wright as he grew up in the very Deep South…
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Black Boy

Download file to see previous pages... Accordingly, the author has chosen to focus on 5 unique situations that are indicative of the hardships caused by Jim Crow on Richard Wright’s formative years in Part 1 of the autobiography (the part that details his life in the South prior to a move to Chicago). The first of these is the general lack of work and economic hardships that is such a mainstay of the opening pages of the story. The hardship and deprivation were of course felt by many in the Deep South; however, none more so than the African American community. As these were both the least educated and most repressed, finding steady and gainful employment was nearly impossible. Something that is further evidenced by this is the fact that no one was able to fall back on their savings or any form of contingency plans they had made. Whereas many individuals in our current society have the ability to stash away a bit of savings in case the unthinkable happens, Richard Wright’s family was living on the very border of destitution even when the mother was employed and working multiple jobs. Of course this meant that when disaster struck and she was taken ill, there was no recourse but to fall back on the mercy and kindness of her extended family. ...
A further evidence of how Jim Crow affected the life of young Richard Wright is seen in the fact that he regularly misses school and eventually drops out early on in his youth (Wright 18). However, what is noticeably absent is the mention of any type of truancy officer or guidance counselor that is able to check on young Richard Wright and encourage the family to keep the young boy in school. Rather, it is painfully evident that the educational system cares little for the loss of one little black boy from the system. Such an eventuality acquaints the reader with the net worth that the Jim Crow South placed on the black person’s role in society. Richard relates that life became noticeably better when he was able to move in with his aunt and uncle who, by the standards he was accustomed, earned a very good living. Richard’s uncle, Hoskins, ran a successful saloon in town and was able to adequately provide for all of the family members under his roof in this way. Howvever, the jealousy and horror of racism and Jim Crow reared its head again in this location and affected the murder of Hoskins at the hands of an angry and jealous group of white men in town. At the heart of Jim Crow one understands there is a primal fear that the black person would rise and better himself; thereby freeing himself/herself from the constraints of slavery and servitude that had for so long defined his/her existence. In this way, the reader is made aware of the fact that Hoskin’s death was merely an extension of the problems and issues of racism and Jim Crow that had been experienced in various ways previously in his story. The final instance of this which will be discussed in this brief paper is concentric around the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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