Black Boy

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Black Boy As a black man born in the South, Richard Wright experiences a great deal of racial oppression. The oppression he receives is not only from the whites, but from his own family.

Richard's childhood is full of events that impact him in the years to come. The separation of his parents, beatings from various family members, his mothers stroke and many other events leave him changed for life. In the novel Black Boy the influences of his mother, Granny, and H.L. Mencken develop and shape his personality.

Richard's mother has negative and positive influences on him. Teaching Richard to stand up for himself, and to take care of himself are the most important contributions his mother gave him. For example, when Richard's mother said, "You will not be allowed back into this house until you learn to stand up for yourself and bring back our food"(19). Richard was often left at home during the time his mother was at work.

This taught him to be independent. Although, this also causes him to be more isolated and lack attention. Richard's mother suffers from a stroke it is devastating for Richard. He must stay focused in his studies, and be more responsible for his actions. He became tired of neighbors giving him money.

Being desperate he decides to write to Granny repeatedly, he finally receives help. Aunts and uncles come from all over the country. Richard must go and live with one relative. Richard is able to survive the south because of what his mother teaches him. Richard's Granny is a Southern woman who believes in strict religious principles.

Richard does not like Granny because she has a strict opinion about everything. Granny's opinions are usually a direct result of her ignorance. Granny is illiterate, and whenever Richard reads something,



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