Black Boy : Breaking The Chains Of Mental Slavery

1720 WordsOct 16, 20147 Pages
Camille Bethune-Brown AFST/ENGL 261 Professor Beligne October 15,2014 Black Boy: Breaking the Chains of Mental Slavery 4. Race plays a large role in who and how we define ourselves. The question time and time again asked is who hold the key in deciding who do someone allow to define along with the limitations of such assumptions us and can the limitations how society views us hold the black individual(s) back. In this response I will focus on the idea of “Racism and its effects on individual experience”. Throughout the novel Wright tries to come to terms with the idea to come to terms with individual identity, conformity/rebellion, and revaluation of the self. The chapter begins Wright taking a job working for the Hoffman’s at Jewish couple living in Chicago at their locals store a mostly white area of Chicago. The Hoffman’s take a liking to Richard treating him with respect however due to many views from his childhood Richard assumes that the Hoffman’s are like any other southern white couple. As time goes on Richard ask him “I kept asking myself what had black people done to bring this crazy world upon them? … The fact of separation of white and blacks was clear to me its effects upon the personalities of people that stumped and dismayed me”. (Wright, 265) During this quotation Richard has an epiphany in which he is forced to revaluate everything he has come to know about his relations/views with whites. What I found most interesting was that as Wright grappled with

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