14 May 2007

7. Black Boy by Richard Wright

I read this book to teach it.

I did a crap job teaching it, but will do better next year.

My kids thought me writing "Bring Black Boy" as HW was funny. And they pretended that Black Boy was a superhero name, pronouncing the title of the book boldly, like the movie announcer guy.

Autobiography about Richard Wright growing up in the Jim Crow South. What a crappy life.

The language was amazing though; the guy can really write.

"(The essence of the irony of the plight of the Negro in America, to me, is that he is doomed to live in isolation while those who condemn him seek the basest goals of any people on the face of the earth. Perhaps it would be possible for the Negro to become reconciled to his plight if he could be made to believe that his sufferings were for some remote, high, sacrificial end; but sharing the culture that condemns him, and seeing that a lust for trash is what blinds the nation to his claims, is what sets storms to rolling in his soul.)"

and from the page before:

"Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and evil, the high and low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of process, of necessity."

Strongly recommended. And get the copy that has both parts, Part One: Southern Night and Part Two: The Horror and the Glory, the way Wright intended it to be published.