Richard Wright- Black Boy

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Nykia Tucker Ap English- Pd. 4A Black Boy Essay If Richard Wright were alive today I think he would be discouraged about the changes that have taken place in our country because there hasn’t been any. I feel like as long as different races exist, there will always be racism. I would just say people aren’t as outwardly racist as they used to be years ago. Racism is still here but now we don’t tolerate it. What I think has changed is our society. Today we see far less racism as new generations are growing up without the same experiences that older generations have.

Black Boy is a great book that describes how the author, Richard Wright, suffered in the South during the time when there was still a lot of discrimination throughout the country. The author explained many of his horrible experiences he went through in the past. This racism affected Richard a lot and he had to adapt to the environment that he was in, although he didn’t know how he should act in front of white people in the beginning of the story. There are not many examples in the beginning of the story since Richard was a little boy, and he still didn’t know about racism.

He did know that something was different between black and whites, but he wasn’t able to understand it since he was too young. He even talks to himself in Pg. 49 that “I had heard that colored people were killed and beaten, but so far it all had seemed remote. There was, of course, a vague uneasiness about it all, but I would be able to handle that when I came to it. It would be simple. If anybody tried to kill me, then I would kill them first. ” After this, he realized the harshness of racism around his society when Uncle Hoskins got shot by a white man when he was at the salon.

There is another example on Pg. 172 where he met his classmate, Ned Greenley who had lost his brother since the whites shot him. Ned said, “Th-they said he was fooling with a white prostitute there in the hotel. ” In Chapter nine, there is a scene that is really harsh where Richard sees it, but could do nothing. This scene is at the clothing store for black people where Richard worked. The black employees were treated like slaves in the store; the white owners would push, kick, or slap the blacks.

Although Richard saw this scene many times, he never got used to it. Another big thing is the time when Richard sees a black woman getting raped by two white men. This is a part from the book that describes how evil this time of period was. On Pg. 179, it says, “White people passed and looked on without expression. A white policeman watched from the corner, twirling his night stick; but he made no move. Even though people aren’t as outwardly racist as they used to be years ago, racism is still here.

To me, an example of racism today would be the tragic event of Hurricane Katrina. The government had known for years that a big hurricane was likely to cause dangerous flooding in New Orleans. The plans they made didn’t include any way to get poor people (predominately African Americans) out of the city to safety. When the storm and the flooding did come with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, much of the country saw on TV that thousands of people of color were stranded in the city without food, water, housing or safety.

The government was incredibly slow to rescue people, to provide food and shelter, and to help them rebuild their houses. Many people believe that if those stranded had been mostly white people the rescue efforts would have been much quicker and effective. When money did become available to start rebuilding, the first federal contracts went to white businessmen, so that white people accumulated more wealth as a result of the disaster.