Response To Richard Wright's Autobiography Of Black Boy '

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Mona Kim Black Boy Response Paper Living in the South during the 1900’s for African Americans was an incredibly tough time. As stated in the United States Constitution states that “all men are created equal,” however in the Jim Crow era in the South, blacks were continuously persecuted; killed, beaten, raped, taunted and for many times it was not the fault of the blacks. In Richard Wright’s autobiography of Black Boy he describes near death experiences, extreme hunger and other hardships dealing with the Jim Crow south and the white people who resisted the liberation and change in the African American lives. Wright uses writing to free himself from the prejudice he constantly faces, gradually he finds that writing allows him to explore…show more content…
It was the fact that the whites believed that they had this power over the African Americans and that it was there right in taking it and abusing their power. Richard gets a job at an optical shop in Jackson and right away two of his white co-workers yell crude words and try in any way to intimidate him. At one point they almost threaten to kill him and frightens Richard to quit the job knowing that he no longer would be safe there. Mr. Crane, Richard’s boss, is a kind man who is from the North and sympathizes Wright. He asks Richard what the co-workers had said and that they would be punished but Richard’s fear is too great and just accepts his pay and leaves. White supremacy is shown clearly in this instance where his co-workers feel that they had every right to scare a child and make him feel completely inferior. They did not want African Americans to feel like they had a voice, equality and certainly did not want blacks to feel as if they were someone of importance. The fact that Southern whites fear and discourage black migration to the North exposes the degree to which their pride and even their very economic welfare depends on the presence of blacks. Racism is a means to an end, as oppressors employ racist measures in order to achieve power over another group. Wright shows numerous times throughout the novel that racism breeds irrational actions, and points out many times when Southern whites abuse blacks for no reason other than to vent their own frustration. This abuse and subordination of blacks also serves an economic function for the whites, as the blacks are the basic laborers who almost single-handedly support the white economy, for meager pay. Whites abuse blacks in order to keep them in a position where their service would empower
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